I get exasperated at my colleagues sometimes. They think too much and do too little, especially when starting out, re-starting, or pivoting. My clients do not fall into this error, because we are accountable to each other to keep up their pace in closing new work, refining target profiles, getting out into the market, and so on.
But lately a couple of colleagues have tapped me for some “quick advice” and I find that six or 10 weeks have gone by and they are still “doing the creative thing” or “re-considering how I might start out.”
Now, I believe in planning along with all the other strategists in the world, don’t get me wrong. But I have learned a lot from my colleagues and clients in the tech world about being “agile.” We need to be agile when testing our service businesses and consultancies, just as we are in our product-world.
And agile means: take your skill set and go out into the market with your best initial positioning and pricing, and see what you get.
Then adjust. Re-position something: your offering? your target prospect profile? Your pricing? Your packaging of your services?
And take it out again. Test the market. Look where you can provide value to whom. And adapt again.
I find those with new partners tend to indulge in this creative thinking way too long… it is as if they urge each other on. Then again, some folks talk to themselves for weeks or months before they act. Still others, on their own, dream about creating a specialized team of colleagues — that is, not going out to test the market until they have others with them, or others’ bios with them — not understanding that then they will have to “rain-make” for all of them!
There is a message in this behavior. It might mean they are not going to act. It might mean they are not going to launch at all. And at some point their runway (of capital) will run out, and they will be left with their creative ideas and no data from the market or direction from the real world about what value they can offer to whom for what price.
Don’t let this be you.