My answer to What startup ideas consistently fail and why?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Those that are driving the tools and not the car.
As a small business counselor I have noticed there seems to be a belief that automation, the Internet and social networking can make the business succeed when in fact the real design of the enterprise itself is lacking (niche, market base, business plan, competitive analysis and financial forecasting)
I hear from many clients who ask, "What Now?" having launched an enterprise that is going nowhere because they are driving the tools and not the car. I take them back to the garage; design the auto to see if it can run and then apply the wrenches retroactively if that is possible.
It is usually a traumatic experience and could have been avoided with strategic and business planning before launch. I provide a simple test to develop their potential idea for a business.
1. Do they have a product or service niche in mind?
2. Do they believe they have a market for 1 above and the means to reach it?
3. Are they willing to develop a business plan using the tool kit linked below to validate 1 and 2 above before you launch?
If the answer to the above questions is "Yes", they use the below planning aids to design thier business vehicle and the road map they intend to follow on their journey:
When they have completed the above definition and planning process they are then be in a position to astutely select the tools they wish to use along the way and apply them successfully.
They are able to network their vehicle, pick up riders as industry partners, and attract revenue fuel in the form of customers by marketing and social networking based on the thorough definition and content of their business plan.
Lesson Learned: Define a business vehicle and its journey first. Then pick the right technology tools to make a successful trip.