As an entrepreneur, about to start or grow a company, you need to do a lot of things. So, how do you decide where to focus more?
You need to consider two things. First one is deciding what is most important, and the second one is to understand what skills do you have.
Many important things are obvious to do: perform thorough analysis of market competition; prepare a product or service needed to introduce in the market (testing and product management.); establish some means to get into the target (sales, beta customer, marketing, distribution, relationships, etc); try to recruit the right team, hire the right attorneys as well as accountants, find capital to make it all, develop a sustainable and competitive advantage; prepare a business plan. These are just a few things must for all businesses.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the category of obsessing on unimportant things; spend days on the shopping for official furniture (get some functional things and trade up when you grow successfully); design brochures for your products that are going to be introduced in the market (the product may change, so don’t need to waste money on the brochures because they will probably be replaced); set up a heavy duty file as well as email server even if company has only three people; when you start achieving some success, hire experts to manage details and then try for your business marketing and localization all over the world.
There are some other things that fall in the grey zone, this includes requiring introspection and analysis, the time you spend on things like logo designing, letterheads, and business cards; decide who should on your board of directors; develop programs that benefit your clients, etc. depending on the situation, there may be some things that are more or less important.
Setting up priorities need to distinguish between following three categories:
- Must haves
- Nice to haves
- The things that stuck up the time without improving success chances.
The second consideration is to understand what you are good at and why? There are too many simple things that are MUST be done to make you able to do everything in your hands. As you cannot do everything yourself, try to focus on executing the things you are good at. Anybody can write the contract and other legal documents, but it is not the best strategy to waste time to do the things that can also be done by good lawyers. In case, the documents are not in your language, get the legal documents translation from translation companies.
Setting up priorities is extremely difficult. If you are having a quantitative mind, you can add a value of dollars to benefit of achieving some particular tasks, and a dollar of value to your time as well. Assume that you quantify the business accurately (which often seems impossible), you can do the cost-benefit analysis to decide on the priorities and on which tasks are needed to do by yourself and which to assign to the others. If you have a qualitative mind, then always use a rule of thumb, “nine times out of ten”, it is better to hire an expert for the task than to do it yourself.
Just find what things are important; do not waste time on low valued activities; focus on the things you are good at and get help from the experts on the other important activities.