Michael Masterson is an entrepreneur whose first business opened when he was 11 years old. Forty-five years later, he has started or co-started dozens of successful businesses – with a strategy that is vastly different than anything you’ve heard of yet: Ready, Fire, AIM. (Which is, incidentally, a book; follow the link to find it on Amazon.)
We like this idea because we’ve seen many of our clients get so caught up in aiming that by the time they fire, it’s too late – the market has shifted to new ideas and new products. What Masterson says is that no company, product, or service is perfect from the beginning and that it’s sometimes better to aim lower and pull the trigger earlier. You can fix the details and improve strategies later to get to 100%, but it’s better to be in the market, getting noticed and collecting feedback, than it is to wait for the perfect product or what you think is the perfect time.
Why? Because business moves fast. People move fast. LIFE moves fast. Consumer Reports and The New York Times have done research showing that consumers are exposed to as many as 5,000 marketing messages every day – and that they’re beginning to ignore them. Another research project indicates that a person’s average attention span is a mere seven seconds – and dropping, given that it was twelve seconds in 2000. By the time you finish reading this sentence, your prospective client has moved on to the next thing.
That’s why less aiming and more firing is so important. Masterson says: “You cannot afford to go into paralysis by analysis. You have to try things and move to market quickly.” If you don’t, a similar product may beat you to the punch and you may never catch up. (For example: what if Microsoft had gotten the Zune into the market before Apple marketed the iPod? The world of music – and possibly smartphones, too – could be very different!)
Salvador Dali said, “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” Michael J. Fox said, “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
So don’t get bogged down looking for perfection. Create your product or service (ready), plan a marketing strategy and get it out to your target market (fire), and then take the feedback you get and use it to improve (aim).
Need help rearranging your idea of “ready, aim, fire”? Contact us; we can help!