When someone comes to me for advice about a business idea that will require a considerable expenditure of time and money, I often ask for a Ready, Fire, Aim business proposal.
The purpose is not to slow down the start-up process but to outline goals, identify costs (obvious and overlooked), and analyze expectations to make sure they’re realistic. To keep the momentum going, I tell them that the proposal has to be finished and delivered to me within 24 hours.
The ideal Ready, Fire, Aim business proposal looks like this:
- It is more than one page but no longer than four.
- It includes ballpark financial projections, including costs.
- It identifies critical tasks.
- It identifies a project champion and key support people.
- It has a timeline for major tasks to be completed.
- It describes Plan B (a “what if it fails?” course of action).
[Ed. Note: The above is an excerpt from Michael Masterson’s latest book, Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat
, published with permission of John Wiley & Sons. The book has hit the New York Times
, the Wall Street Journal
, and now the Business Week
list of business best-sellers. Inside, Michael shows how veteran and rookie entrepreneurs alike can take their businesses to the next level. You’ll learn how to identify and solve the problems that crop up during each stage of a company’s growth… and how to take advantage of profit opportunities along the way. Order your copy of Ready, Fire, Aim now
: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter
. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]