“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
-Vince Lombardi

Lately i have heard a lot of entrepreneurs, startups founders and venture capitalists saying that “ideas are worthless, what matters is how you execute them and only the execution determine the success”.

I have read many books that focus on startup strategy, planning and marketing but there is little knowledge on how entrepreneurs can hone their execution skills.

In this article we will discuss how can young entrepreneurs with little experience can focus as much on the execution as they do on ideas.

I believe that if you want to learn about execution than book is not the best place for young entrepreneurs, of course you have to read and plan but the real test of your plans is when you execute it in market.

The key to good execution is good planning. You should come up with very very comprehensive and detailed plan of actions on what needs to be done. Your startup execution plan should be like a action hero determination, who believes in himself and leads from the front, struggles and at last comes out victorious.

Startups should also visualize each stage, activity,hurdles they may face which as much details as possible. i suggest you make timeline with roles and expectations of partners and employees.

Lets discuss the execution with a simple example;

Lets assume that your startup plans to sell marketing services to schools. Now the question is how you are going to calculate the success or conversion rate of your sales rep and how you determine achievable goals for her.

How you calculate that and how deep you could dig will determine the success of your execution. We suggest you work on comprehensive plan of actions that will be taken by the organization to support the sales rep until the job is completed.

Scenario 1: We all know that schools are closed for almost 3 months in a year. Though, the schools are closed but some of administration staff or sometime teachers are still there in vacations too.

Scenario 2: Lets assume that our sales manger or rep reach the school and may spent average of 90 min at a schools. This time is inclusive of waiting time and 20 minutes meeting with head of academic or procurement manager.

Scenario 3: So lets calculate that our sales manager would not be able to meet no more than 4 schools in a day. That means that if the manager works 5 days a week he would be able to meet at least 15 to 20 schools in a week and 60 schools at least in a month.

Scenario 4: Assuming our success rate to proceed further is 10% then the salesperson have at least 5-7 leads in a month? Right. Lets assume we successfully persuaded the principal.

Scenario 5: Although the principal likes our proposed solutions but he isn’t the decision maker. Our sales team head now have to meet the committee.

Scenario 6: After a week, our sales head meets the committee and presents. The meeting ends up to the expectations and the committee recommends us to the chairman for budget decisions.

Scenario 7: From this exercise we came to know that there are 4-7 meeting involve to get to the final stage and this whole process will take not more than 30 days to set the meetings depending upon clients interest in your solution.

Scenario 8: This assessment tell us that we will be barely closing one sale in the initial months, till a time when more potential leads are coming from other marketing campaign or through referrals.

Scenario 9: This is just one facets of startup operations, of course there is someone planning and working on schools database, appointment setting, lead management and tracking progress with potential hot leads.

Final Words: Startups founders fails in execution because they oversimplify changing market factors involved in rolling out their plans. Startups founders are unrealistically optimistic about their idea and specially its execution which leaves them startled when they launch. As a result startup end deviated from its vision of scaling their product/services and growth to fighting current state.

Normally, startups are working with some basic processes with continuous evaluation that which process works best for them. However when the team starts to grow in the absence of process then inefficiencies in jobs starts to surface because every team member starts to manage the job in a way he feels appropriate. Such chaos and little harmony in direction do not help them strive for the vision they are working for.

Founders have to dedicate certain amount of time initially to set the processes right and set the clear picture of execution of job including the job support roles. Failure to do so will result in chaos and frustration in shorter run and inefficient results in longer run, which could cost company their existence. We suggest that the more comprehensive the plan plan the better it is.

Startups upon failing blame that their product weren’t very innovative though innovation is rarely the cause of success, in fact many of the companies weren’t very innovative. What differentiated them was their persistence and determination multiplied with sheer discipline.

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