To "begin with the end in mind" is phrase that always gets my attention and has become a personal motto of sorts. I borrowed it from Dr. Stephen Covey, and I've mentioned it in a past blog post. To me, it's smart and compelling, and is great advice for all areas of our lives. Taking the time to look into the future and specify what success means to us allows us to craft a clear plan towards making our desires a reality.
A Road Map to Success
In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Natalie Bounassar advises "chart[ing] goals to create a road map to success." Once you know what "the end" of your particular journey should look like, you can set "smaller, more immediate goals that build on your efforts to reach the final destination." These goals serve as check points on your road map, keeping you accountable and on track for a successful arrival.
Natalie classifies the three kinds of goals that fill out your road map – immediate, intermediate, and stretch goals:
Immediate Goals are weekly goals, small steps on the way to fulfilling intermediate goals. They are easily achievable, but always advance you in the right direction. Sometimes immediate goals seem easy to put off or skip over, but when you check them off one by one they build the foundation on which your ultimate success relies.
Intermediate Goals might be monthly or yearly goals. They are broader than immediate goals and are slightly harder to achieve, involving greater planning and effort. The completion of your immediate goals sets you up to successfully meet these larger goals, and provides the momentum you need to make them a reality.
Stretch Goals are long-term objectives, the end point that you've developed for yourself based on your standards for the success of a major project or endeavor. Ideally, they should involve a "stretch" — that extra mile or two that will make your success bigger and better than ever before. It takes a lot of planning and hard work to achieve these goals, but your road map will help you get there by providing a focused, step-by-step plan of attack.
The Ideal Launch Scenario
When it comes to launching a new brand or product, the end of your road map is the ideal scenario at the time of launch to maximize the potential for success. What exactly this scenario entails will be unique to your specific goals, industry, and resources. However, there are definite benchmarks to consider.
Of course, the first step is to create a product or brand that solves a real problem or provides a real value to the target consumer. This means product testing and market validation to ensure that you don't waste valuable resources on a product that is destined to gather dust on the shelves. Once you have a viable product, it's time to prepare for launch.
At Eidson & Partners, our experience has led us to realize that in order to achieve the ideal launch scenario, your road map needs two important things: your distribution channel and your public relations/social media/marketing strategy. You need to solidify both of these aspects of your launch in order to achieve success. After all, what good is a widely circulating product without consumers who know what to look for and where?
The "Begin with the End in Mind" Series
In an upcoming series of blog posts, I will use my decades of experience launching products to walk you through my road map to the "Ideal Launch Scenario." Keeping in mind the necessity of rigorous and targeted product testing and market validation, a dependable and wide-reaching distribution channel, and savvy public relations/social media/marketing strategy, we will ask two central questions: "Who matters in this space?" and "How can I get their attention?" in order to maximize the potential for success.
In next week's installment I will go in-depth to address product testing and market validation as the first step towards making your Ideal Launch Scenario a reality. In the meantime, take a few minutes to visualize your success and specify "the end" you have in mind.
Thoughts on planning a road map to success? Tweet @eidsonpartners with your ideas!