At some point in your career, you’re bound to come across a new business idea that seems great from the outset, but its execution isn’t as smooth as anticipated. To prevented wasted time and resources, how can leaders recognize when a seemingly promising idea doesn’t actually hold any ground?
Below, members from Business Journals Leadership Trust share telltale signs of when a business idea may be best saved for later or scrapped altogether.
1. The idea doesn’t align with priorities.
Achieving goals requires clarity. If you want to get to destination X, the roads Y and Z are temporarily not an option. So if the idea is really good but it doesn’t align with the company’s strategy and core priorities for, say, the current year, it’s probably best to stick to the course and put it aside. You can get back to it later, so it’s never a hard “no” — just not at the moment. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
2. The idea doesn’t have a proven record.
The best ideas have proven track records. If the idea comes from another field or industry and can be verified it is likely viable. Ideas without proven track records are difficult to justify executing. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
3. You would need to rework your policy.
Sometimes policy, process or legal issues can get in the way of a good idea. However, if the idea is valuable enough, good leaders can usually rework the policy and process so that the spirit and intent of the idea can be met. – Daniel Serfaty, Aptima, Inc
4. The idea isn’t practical or executable.
A good idea must be executable from an internal and financial perspective. If an idea doesn’t take into account the current business operations or have a practical, executable plan, it’s just an idea and not a strategy. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. You lack the right implementation strategy.
A common reason is that they are unable to apply the right implementation strategy. Hopefully, that good idea can be shelved for later when it can be implemented well. – Jerry Ramos, Ramos Consulting, LLC
6. The idea requires too many resources.
The challenge is always the allocation of resources, be it money, your personnel or the momentum of a current strategy. Maintaining focus is critical to avoid dilution of energy within the team. – Michael Sikora, Bighorn Wealth Management
7. The idea may be cost-prohibitive.
Cost is a key consideration. Great ideas may simply be cost-prohibitive, particularly for small companies; but that doesn’t mean that the “great idea” cannot become a “great goal” for the company to work toward. The fact that the idea came from the frontline workers will help with buy-in and achieving the goal. – Christine Durrett, Durrett & Kersting PLLC