Saturday 22 October 2016

'Pouring time and resources into something you know little or nothing about is risky at best'

Finbarr Crotty managing director Crotty Insurance &

Finbarr Crotty

Published 27/09/2015 | 02:30

Finbarr Crotty, Managing Director Crotty Insurance &
Finbarr Crotty, Managing Director Crotty Insurance &

'Enthusiasm and energy can be your greatest resources when properly harnessed, but attacking a project without proper planning will ultimately cost you. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

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"Remember, if it's a great idea today, it's not going to disappear overnight and putting a little time in before you start will give you a greater degree of control and a clearer vision of what's ahead.

"The next big thing could be right in front of you, but if you don't analyse the downsides, as well as the upsides, you run the risk of going down blind alleys and wasting precious resources and time.

"The idea may be great at the boardroom table but it's only when you get a good look at the details that you'll be in a position to make clear and informed decisions and perhaps sidestep some of the potential stumbling blocks.

"Remember to celebrate your triumphs, but also ask yourself a few questions too. Could I have done better? Did I miss a key piece of information that would have improved the result? Did I make the decision for the right reasons? Don't beat yourself up over the failures. Making mistakes is part of the process of running a business, as long as you use those mistakes as learning experiences for the future. We are creatures of habit, but in business there is nothing worse than making the same mistake over and over again.

"Challenge the system. Just because it has always been done that way doesn't mean that it's the only way. This is a cornerstone of businesses that are technology-driven. Push back against 'it can't be done' and 'that's the way it's always been done'. If it's not in your nature to do that, bring in a positive individual who is naturally oriented to ask 'why?' and 'why not?'

"Don't try to run before you can walk. The temptation when you start a venture is to do everything on day one, but you'll have a lot to learn. You will spend a lot of time thinking about the product, the customer, finances and your infrastructure. Marketing and branding are things you will have to learn as you go along.

"Finally, stick to the knitting! Realise what your core product range is and stick to that.

"Diversification is all well and good but should take a back seat to your primary focus. That's not to say that you shouldn't have a look, but pouring time and resources into something you know little or nothing about is risky at best, particularly in the early days of your business journey."

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