Executing on Your Goals & Strategies
It’s one thing to have ideas, but executing on your goals can be difficult if the right framework is missing. Learn how the “ECEP Model” is doing just that.
This post is part of 3 of a 4-part series. For part 1, click here.
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
That was one of many famed quotes by the iconic Apple co-founder and audacious business tycoon, Steve Jobs, that resonates so well in commerce. Not only did Jobs formulate incredible ideas about business and innovation, he lead teams to execute on them brilliantly. Without execution, all of the ideas, strategies, and goals in the world are meaningless, because they lack realization and any chance of success. The execution of goals should be planned as thoroughly as the goals themselves, if not more so.
Let’s take a look at our ECEP Model to help identify effective execution techniques for your online business:
(E)xecution = (C)alibration + (E)thos + (P)roficiency
Calibration is identifying the key components to your strategy and how it aligns with your end goals. Where do you see your business going and how do you plan on getting there? Most importantly, what are your reasons for going into business?
- Identify mission and vision statements. These can be external, but the focus should be on how each of them relates to your end goals. Maintain their importance as the heart of your business when making decisions.
- Keep your perfect customer in mind at all times. This will allow you to make sure you are fulfilling your value proposition.
- Know your competitive environment. Exploit a competitor’s weakness and make it your strength. Niches work very well in this regard, because larger businesses aren’t able to apply the laser focus smaller ones can.
- Know your end goals. Ask yourself, “what does finished look like?” It helps to envision what a perfect business looks like to you and what you wish to attain from it.
- Identify key areas needed to focus on for your MVP, or minimum viable product. How can you get to market quickly to test your idea without a lot upfront investment. For those of you who haven’t taken our free Business Model Design course, we cover this concept in great detail.
Ethos is the attitude behind your business strategy and the drive to maintain momentum. Do you feel the intrinsic appetite to build your business and believe in it’s ability to succeed?
- Embrace failure and adversity. In reference to his invention of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison is famous for saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Chances are you won’t take on the valiant attempts that Edison did, but we can take away that failure gives way to success as long as you are willing to remain committed.
- Trust your gut. Many times, your instinct will lead you in the right direction, but your rationale takes over and you fail to move forward. It can go both ways, however. It’s oftentimes difficult for logic to prevail over emotion, so it’s important to be grounded when making key decisions. It’s a learned skill that can be mastered over time.
- Challenge the status quo. Most people fear change and will do anything to maintain their existing state. The problem with this however, is that businesses to fail to grow by maintaining the status quo.
- If it ain’t broke, still fix it. There’s always a way to attain incremental improvements in your business, and it’s in your best interest to continue to move forward. Maintaining momentum will also ensure that you don’t grow complacent.
- Ignore the naysayers. You will always encounter them and they are like parasites, slowly depleting the nutrients needed to nurture your business and entrepreneurial spirit.
Proficiency is the capability to carry out the mission of your business through skills and the ability to make good judgements and quick decisions.
- Identify unique skillsets and assign responsibilities. Whether your startup is a team of people or just you, there are always other people and/or entities involved with your business. Whether it be a co-founder or a supplier, make sure to identify and assign responsibilities based on decision making and action-oriented activities.
- Maintain accountability. Again, whether you have a team or work with external partners, it’s crucial to make sure everyone is holding up their end of the bargain. Each element in your system is like a wheel in a clock. If just one is asynchronous, the entire system fails. If everything is working together in harmony, the system works like.. well… clockwork. Making sure you are communicating across all channels is imperative to this working.
- Create timelines. Independent of the time-bound principles mentioned in goal creation, timelines should be implemented to strategically start, manage, and monitor all facets of your business. If you are launching an ad campaign for instance, you will want to make sure your website development schedule is on target and that your content is fully developed.
- Ready, fire, aim. Get out there and start as quickly as possible. Ried Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, once said, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”. Once you’ve gotten your product or service out there, you can enlist real customer feedback to make improvements as you go.
Once you have your strategy executed, it’s time to optimize your efforts through productivity, allowing you to scale your business. Next week, we will cover how best to evaluate your efforts. If you haven’t had the chance to check out our new course on how to start an online business, head on over to learn more. To be the first to know about new courses as they launch, sign up for our email newsletter below.