Back August 19, 2016

Get It Right, but First Get It Done. Your Product and Your Cash Plan

We’re in the business of digital products and we’re “majoring” in cash flow management. How to build digital tools is what we know best, but we’re catching up on the cash flow part pretty fast. Somehow (as it should probably be), we find ourselves lending valuable lessons from one field to the other. What a joy it is to see how basic principles can be applied to different sides of your business and get you do things faster and better.

So what about getting it done and right? What is It?

Naturally, we first think about a product. A digital one (where there’s more flexibility in the production process). We’re also talking about a cash plan, which is essential for running a business properly.

Let’s see the “get the product done and right” side.

In the digital industry there’s a fierce competition out there and in order to make it, one has to come up with something good, better than the others, never seen before, mind blowing, industry disrupting and we could go on and on. Let’s admit, there is some truth about that; some more, to be honest. Yes, you do have to come up with a product that either does something completely different or does what others do, but in a new, better way. It’s in the manual. That, however, puts some high pressure on whoever dreams about building anything (still talking about digital products, not real estate).

Looking back to how we started with a few ideas on the blackboard, rising ahead there were many hours of planning, coding, refining and adjusting. The very idea was transformed over and over and we still didn’t feel satisfied by the outcome; the actual building process was still far. The time was passing. Once we got to the coding part, we kept finding new ideas to improve it, to make it “perfect”. You guessed; that meant even more time. We wanted our beautiful ThinkOut platform to be the “right” one for our customers and ourselves. We accepted nothing less. And surely this is how most entrepreneurs think and act. It’s the excellence that dictates who gets to reach business maturity. There’s nothing wrong with that. Except when you’re overdoing it.

There’s a great chance that the very thing which can uplift your product (striving for perfection) would be the same that crashes it down. The longer you postpone the product-client encounter, the worse is for your business. We learned ourselves that clients don’t look for perfection (at least not from the start), they just want something that works well and solves their problem in the particular manner they were expecting. So don’t wait forever till the product gets “right” because it will never be “right” in your own perception. You’ll always find something to improve, add, change. Just make it right enough and useful for the client and launch it. You’re lucky enough to have the flexibility to adapt it on the go, by taking exactly what the clients expect and adding it to your product. The “right” nature of the product comes gradually, by making it better adapted, the very right answer to the right need. But first, you just have to get it done.

What about the cash plan?
High chances are that if you are building a digital product you are also dealing with cash flow struggles (no business escapes cash flow). And if you are the perfectionist many entrepreneurs are, you most probably postpone writing down a cash flow plan and pursuing it until it is “right”. As in extremely well organised, covering all possible transactions and scenarios and so on. We won’t repeat what we just “preached” about getting the product done first.

The short version: get your cash plan done, even if briefly. Only then start making it “the right one”. Just grab a tool (spreadsheet, paper, and pen or any online tool) and put in the basics: Income and Expenses. Go a little more in detail and for each, add some fundamental categories: Products or Clients for Income and Salaries, Taxes, Office for expenses. There you go, you have the right plan to start with. As you advance and get a better idea of how it will be more useful to you, adjust it. But first, get started.

You can also try the ThinkOut platform and see if it suits your business and management style. We did the “get it done” part for you by pre-setting the basic categories, so you just have to “get it right”.

Author: ThinkOut