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El blog de Mikel Niño
Emprendimiento digital, startups, Big Data Analytics y nuevos modelos de negocio

The initial planning of an entrepreneurial project

Not every entrepreneurial project has a "financial cushion" guaranteeing some minimum resources during the exploration process, or the security that, even if the project doesn't end successfully or if the exploration takes too long, the economic future is well assured by other sources. When our motivation for being an entrepreneur comes mainly from our need to find a way ("the" way) to develop ourselves as professionals and to ensure our income, it is very important to design a clear strategy from the very beginning to deal with two aspects: the amount of time and resources we have for our exploration, and how to combine it with other potential "income-generating" activities that might appear along the way.

The initial framework would be obtained from a precise planning of the margin we could give ourselves. We'll need to consider how much of our own funds we can invest to sustain our exploration while no other income is generated, and the deadline we establish for a concluding result in our exploration. We could establish an analogy with the rigor we would apply if it was a project for a third party (for example, a customer that hires us for that service), where we surely would prepare an estimate of the costs involved, in order to check whether the project's duration, the implied tasks and the cost derived from them are well balanced with the budget we have. In a case of "intra-entrepreneurship", the company initiating the exploration of a new business line would use those same mechanisms. It seems like a good practice to deal with an individual entrepreneurial project with the same rigor and initial planning.

We should foresee that some alternative chances or complementary projects could appear along the way, depending on our contacts and references coming from other previous professional activities. It is very difficult to resist those "siren calls" when our motivation for being an entrepreneur is to ensure some income source and those complementary projects are precisely offering it to us. In order to analyze whether those opportunities are interesting or not, it may be useful to identify the different elements that can make them attractive or counter-productive, thus having a framework that allows us to assess them when they appear, analyzing how much they add to or take away from our main project.

As the elements to assess in those lateral projects we should consider: the time and attention they take us away from our main project and the opportunity cost it may have (if our exploration's success depends strongly on taking advantage of a "window of opportunity" that might disappear), how far they are from our main project (in order to look for synergies and undertake them as part of the same continuous activity), whether our degree of involvement is well delimited or not, ... Those are the aspects we should quantify to compare them with the expected income of that new opportunity, in order to be sure that it is worth it to get involved in it and that it won't become a "short-term gain but a long-term pain".

[Haz clic aquí para la versión en español de esta entrada]

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