The 100-day plan is a tool that helps organize, describe, and assign responsibilities for your most important tasks. It is a checklist by which you can stay focused, measure and communicate your progress to your team, owners and investors. It is also a time management tool. Time management is an essential success factor for startups, especially in the early stages of the company. Poor time management can lead to cost overruns, missed opportunities and customer and employee dissatisfaction. An entrepreneur’s duties usually far exceed normal working hours; assessing how you invest your time can be a key driver of your success:
- What important items are you putting off doing? Everyone is averse to doing things they don’t like. That’s why we tend to stay in our comfort zones. Delaying things usually doesn’t make them better. It’s best to be dispassionate and just work through the items that need work. A list can help with that as it can be a useful reminder of what needs to be done that falls outside of your comfort zone. You will need to have the self-discipline to do it.
- Are your best people working on your biggest problem? Think of your workforce as an army of ants and migrate them to the trouble spots as quickly as you can. All teams have start players. Make sure you can find a way to assign them to the biggest challenges you have, thereby maximizing your chances of success.
- Are you working on things you enjoy or things critical to your success? You may like sales and look forward to spending time with customers. That’s great unless your numbers need work and neglect can spin you out of control. No one likes to do everything. So a good solution is to surround yourself with people that are different than you. Diversity of thoughts, energies, attention to detail, concepts, etc. can make your company stronger by ensuring all important matters get attention, not only those that you like to spend time on.
Staying focused on your critical execution items is a fundamental part of effective start-up management.