Get money faster

12 December 2014
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Categories: Dollars & Sense

In recent weeks we’ve looked at how ideas turn into money, about deciding which idea to pursue first, and the value of planning.  To wrap things up, let’s take a look at how to quickly turn that great idea into reality.  After all, you can’t cash in on it if all it does it just sits there!

The first thought I have is the value of speed.  As I think about it today, there are three reasons why speed is important:

  • The faster we get from Idea to Implementation, the faster we realize that Return on Investment.
  • The faster we realize the Return on Investment, the faster we can improve the Return on Investment by tweaking the idea.
  • The faster we implement, we can also find out if (hopefully not, but possible) if the idea was a bad one and divest.

For example, let’s say that you want to roll out a new product line that you think will bring in a new of $200,000 next year.  You work out the logistics with the suppliers and you add a new sales rep to promote it.  After two months working on it, you see that you have initial orders with your existing reps, but not with the new one.  So a) you are seeing a return on investment, b) need to manage the process with the new sales rep, and c) you know that you will keep the line.

So how do we get speed?  When I look at how I operate (a moment of frank disclosure here!), I observe two things:

  • I need to speed up my start, and
  • I need to push to the finish.

I talked a little bit about speeding up the start in the last post, which is about planning and getting the plan done quickly so that we can start the new initiative quickly.  But what about pushing through to the finish?  Here are some techniques that we can use to push through:

  • Keep the end result (not any technique, but result) in mind at all times.
  • Focus on one internal project at a time.  It is better to move one thing a long way rather than 100 things a little bit (credit to Alan Weiss for this one).
  • Personally, I’m reminding myself that there are things I should not be doing (things that can be delegated, don’t add value to my business or personal lives), since time spend doing things I shouldn’t crowd out valuable time for things I should be doing.
  • Improving our delegation skills by getting the project started in the right direction, then turn what can be delegated over to someone else.
  • Blocking time more by setting aside a few hours of intense productivity, removing distractions, and setting goals for those sessions.
  • And finally, a new one I heard about: evaluate when you’ve reached about 80% of completion on the project.  If it is good enough, then wrap up.  If not good enough, do 80% of the remaining tasks, then reevaluate.

So those are things that we all can do to be better entrepreneurs and to turn ideas into reality and cash in faster.  What about you?  Any other techniques you use?  Let me know.

Oh, and I hope you have that list of projects I suggested you write down in my first post in this series.  Why not grab it, and see which one you can get done quickly?