Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Before Your Business Rushes Into Its Next Big Project, Here's What to Consider

I briefly mentioned our Beauty Biz Bliss business in my invitation to my Boss Bellas workshop this Saturday, and a few Loyal Readers couldn't help but send me notes mourning a business that failed to fly. You know, I also feel bad about it but, like I said, Ginger and I are now sloooooowly going into it again, calling our same endeavor Boss Bellas now. It may have taken a year of delay, but it's happening! And we're now doing things better. Still, I'm going to do a short post today on the things I learned about launching a big project.

Undertaking a big business project always presents a challenge for your company. On the one hand, you want to dive in and get to work right away because this could be the big thing that drives your company forward and helps it to move onto the next level. But there are some important things that need to be considered before you can do that. Here are the questions to ask before rushing into your big project:

Has your team got the right range of skills?
First of all, you need to think about the team that is being assigned to this project. Whether it’s a big team or a small one, it needs to have people in it who possess the required skills. If your team is short on skills that are going to be needed, you probably won’t see the outcomes that you want from this whole project. You don’t want a group of people who are all good at the same things and bad at the same things. Instead, you need a mix of talents, abilities and backgrounds in order for things to turn out well.

With BBB, we were all women with different skills—Ginger would be in charge of the business side, I was assigned the content side, and Martine was going to do the branding and marketing job. So it was supposed to work! I'll tell you later what didn't.

Do you have a plan for managing it coherently?
Managing your project is going to be a big deal. You should have one person in the team who is assigned the role of project manager. If this is a really big project, it might even be necessary to hire a project manager for the duration of the task. That might sound like a pretty drastic move to take, but sometimes, that’s what’s required. It needs to be managed in a coherent and organised kind of way. Alternatively, you could send a team member to a Project management class. There, they will gain the required skills.

For BBB, we hired a wonderful project manager, RJ Dancel, who is the most capable woman in the world. You tell her what you want and she will execute it. No whining, no complaining, no constant clarifications, and always on time. She's a dream and now she's working with Mommy Mundo/Creative Juice. They are so lucky to have her!

Is your schedule really realistic?
Schedules can be tricky to manage because no one is capable of predicting the future. You don’t know how things are going to plan out or which snags you’ll fit along the way. But you do need to make sure that your schedule and timescale are as realistic as they can be. That’s especially important if those things will have a knock-on effect on what the business does afterwards. Be realistic and be cautious. Don’t expect things to go according to plan at every turn because that’s rarely the case.

This was our trouble—we had planned a workshop, a brand activation, and a meet-up with the community every month. It was the one that made the most business sense. Unfortunately, all three of us in BBB were extremely busy last year with our own individual projects and personal dilemmas. On my part, I was juggling my blog, my kids in school for the first time, a toddler, and no household help and yaya! I simply couldn't take on more commitments. That was a tough realization for me—just because I want something and am qualified for it doesn't mean I can get it if I can't commit the time to it.

What outcomes do you want to see?
Finally, you should think about the outcomes. It’s not a good idea to jump into a business project unless you know how you want it to pan out and how you want the business to be positioned when all is completed. You should have a very clear vision of what you think success should look like for the company. And that’s a vision that should be shared with your whole team. You want people to be on the same page throughout this process.

This was another crazy thing that happened to us at BBB. It was supposed to be a simple workshops-for-working-women business. But as word got around and people got excited to work with us, we veered away from the initial goal and added many other goals and dreams to the drawing board—with the to-do lists that came with them! We were simply overwhelmed!

All of these questions are really important, and they will certainly all need to be answered before your company can get underway with its next project. If not, things could start to get messy before you’ve even begun.

With all that we've learned from last year's failed attempt, Ginger and I decided to take things slow this time with Boss Bellas. We had a simple goal—workshops for women who work, want to work or start a business. The schedule is really forgiving—a workshop every two months. And this time, Ginger decided to take Boss Bellas under her Manila Workshops wing so that we're working with her extremely efficient team. And the results? The first workshop was a success! The second workshop is this Saturday! We're planning the next few workshops and we are so excited! In fact, people are again eager to work with Boss Bellas, but we're pacing ourselves, only taking on what we can handle. And this time this big project feels just right!

I hope you learned a lot from this post! Don't be afraid to fail, mamas. That's what Ginger assured me. She wasn't even fazed at all when I confessed I was so discouraged and embarrassed about the whole thing. She just shrugged and said, "Let's try again!" And we did.

*image from PixabayThis post has affiliate links.

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