How much do you spend, on average, fixing problems within your business?
Time, money, focus, energy, resources…how much of it is used in correcting poorly designed processes or strategies?
For many entrepreneurs, it’s a lot.
Yet for so many busy business owners, with over-booked calendars, unanswered emails, frustrated teams, and urgent client requests, the first instinct is not to put more time upfront in planning and strategizing.
The focus is on doing the least amount of work possible to get the task off of their plate.
Seth Godin said it best: Do it Right or Do it Over.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
A lot is said about producing the Minimum Viable Product (or service) needed to get out in front of customers.
Get it done, get it done fast, and get it out the door.
This can still ring true – as long as the MVP has a solid baseline that the final product will be built off of.
For example, if you build a really crappy foundation for a house, and cut corners on supplies, labor, and the time needed to execute, you can bet that everything put on top of it will not be as solid.
Not to mention the cost of fixing those short-cuts once the cracks start to show.
Yet if anyone were to ask you where you would rather spend your time in business, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will say that you want to spend your time on building and growing, as opposed to back-tracking and correcting.
Short-Term Gains for Long-Term Pains
One of the main elements missing in all poorly executed projects, is a lack of process. This can be especially true for entrepreneurs, who are used to moving quickly and on their own.
The instinct is to act first, see what happens, and build a process after the fact.
And this is where Godin’s quote becomes especially relevant, because if you do not take the time to do things right in the beginning, and build out even a basic process to track and monitor progress, then you will forever be working backwards.
Instead of monitoring progress, making improvements, and expanding on your work, you will be forced to stop all of that.
You will be forced to go back and mend all of the ‘hacks’ you put in place thinking that you were saving yourself time and headaches.
Do it Right or Do it Over
As tempting as it is to rush through a project or new initiative, by investing your time upfront to make sure that you have a really solid product or service in place will save you so much in the end.
So, resist the urge to fast-track your ideas, don’t push a weak offering out to your customers just for the sake of ‘getting it out there’, and invest your time in the right places upfront in order to ensure that you won’t have to double back and do it all over again.