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August 21, 2015 Peter
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I’m going to run you through how to best execute an idea by considering the importance of the little things that make a project, idea or creative vision run smoothly.

Working in a predominantly creative industry means that I am surrounded by people who have great ideas (most of the time!) but who often forget to consider the logistics involved to achieve and sustain their concepts. (However, in truth it’s probably a good thing that they aren’t restricted by such thoughts, as that can often stifle the creative thinker.)

This is where I come in; as a Managing Director it is my job to consider all the little things that enable us to execute a great idea, well.

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Essentially you have to consider the potential benefits of pushing an idea through, versus the stress, strain and financial implications on your company and your team. Arguably for me ‘gut instinct’ usually takes precedence. Simply put, if we all love what we hear in an idea, then it is definitely worth looking into. The next stage is considerably trickier; sometimes you know you’re going to have to shoot down a great idea because you don’t have the funds, the man power, the time, or worst case scenario…none of the above.

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If you can handle working long hours (and if you are thinking of starting a business, then you best be prepared for that) you can always commit time over finances. That way, if the idea doesn’t get traction or winds up being unachievable, all you have lost is time… on to the next brilliant idea. However, once you have become a bit more established as a company you will be unable to willingly give your time to a project in the same way.

It is here that you need to draw on your knowledge of the little things that have developed your business so far. By taking note of what worked or didn’t in the past will enable you to sustain the current business proposition better. By understanding your business inside out, being aware of what you’re working on at all times, what’s coming next and how much of that time, those resources and funds you will have at your disposal, you should be able to make an educated decision on how to best move forward with a great idea.

In short, there are several things to consider to ensure you make (hopefully) right decisions for your business.

In this order:

  • ‘Trust your gut instinct’, yet remember to question it thoroughly. If it seems like a great idea and everybody is behind it then it’s definitely worth progressing it to the next stage. That said it’s important to think ‘why’ do we all like it? Will the idea benefit your company? After the initial excitement has worn off and no one has managed to put enough doubt in to the equation, then that should suggest it’s a good idea and worth pursuing.

From this we can consider the little things (to execute the idea).

  • ‘Know your finances’. It’s got to be the quickest way to a yes or no. If you know how much is going in and out of your company and how much you have in reserve, then you can make an informed decision quickly. That said, if you don’t have the money, ask whether it is worth the gamble of borrowing the money? – considering your gut instinct.
  • ‘Man power’. You may have the cash, but do you have the capacity? This can be a defining factor, so you need to know your schedules. Some people may be happy to work overtime for your business. People may be up for ‘time for equity’ if they think it could work. Time for equity ensures people are more likely to put the effort in to making something work because they share the risks/rewards with you. It’s a great way to see how sure people are about their own idea too.
  • ‘Resources are vital’. You might have all the above in abundance, but I would hesitate on moving forwards until you know that you have the suitable resources required for a project and/or you can dedicate your available resources to something. Remember to bear in mind whether there is likely to be hidden expenses, out-sourcing, renting, legals, or certificates etc.

Essentially, we try to adopt the ‘Lean Start-Up Fail Fast’ approach – http://theleanstartup.com/principles. When you are satisfied that all lights are green on an idea, you will experience the terrifying yet exhilarating panic and delight that comes with being able to say ‘we made this happen.’ Our little saying we refer to from proposition to execution, just to keep things real because that’s how we work here at WATB, is ‘would you rather try and fail or live with never knowing?’ Take it with a pinch of salt though, not literally.

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