Keep your plans and priorities in order

Football is often used as an analogy for how to achieve success in business.

Whether you’re in the boardroom or the locker room, winning often comes down to the leader’s ability to craft a plan that the team can effectively execute to rise above the competition. Every team has individuals who bring different skills to the organization. When you play to the strengths of your team and don’t ask people to do things they can’t do, victory becomes easier to accomplish.

Unlike the world of sports, business owners will sometimes partner with other business owners, industry experts or people who have a specific knowledge that is needed in pursuit of a goal. While this can sometimes be done through a merger or acquisition, there are also instances when leaders will informally pool their resources to enable a plan that leads to a positive outcome.

In either case, I have found the Six Ps to be a helpful guide when I need to develop a process to get something done. Entrepreneurs do many things that are more impulsive or instinctive. There are times when this can work, but it can also lead to mistakes.

The first P is priorities. You need to identify the task that is most important to accomplish. We all lead busy lives that include numerous tasks, meetings and other commitments each day. Which of these are most important to address right now?

Once you’ve identified the top priorities, you need to consider people. Who are the people you need to complete this task? What do you need to do to bring them together and develop a plan or a process? What is the best course of action to take to pursue this goal you have identified?

What lessons have you learned from previous similar projects that can be helpful in crafting a better process for the matter at hand? What are the parameters that will need to be considered as you bring your team together and build a strategy?

As you continue to move forward, you need to consider the pro forma. What does it look like? Does it make sense? Do the numbers work? Is this a product or service that you can sell? Do the economics work or is this just a nice idea that doesn’t make sense as a viable business model? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you’re going to have difficulty finding success.

Finally, you need to have a pipeline of opportunities or a pipeline of business applications for the opportunity you are considering. If you are only looking at one idea, you may put too much emphasis on it and not be willing to walk away from a bad deal. When you have a pipeline of ideas, you can select the best one and achieve better results.

Umberto Fedeli is CEO at The Fedeli Group