When starting a company, there are likely far too many tasks to perform. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the breadth of tasks that seem important to perform. This article explores some key reasons for establishing and enforcing priorities when launching a company.
Reason 1: Financial, time, and resource constraints
The first reason why it is important to have clear priorities when starting a company is that you will almost certainly have limited resources. Be it financial limits, time constraints, or other finite resources that you have, you will not be able to do everything at the same time. Even if you have grand plans for the future of your company, it is important that at least initially, you are able to priorities your resources and your efforts on a limited range of activities.
Reason 2: Spreading yourself thing less likely to be successful
Connected to the above, if you do decide to pursue lots of different areas simultaneously, you are unlikely to be successful. Distributing your time and effort over lots of different areas is likely to leave you spread too thin.
Reason 3: Without specific priorities, individual effort unlikely to be aligned
Beyond spreading yourself too thin, formally prioritizing key areas is important for coordinating the startup team. Without a clear direction, it is very difficult to get a group of individuals (each likely with their own perspectives of what is important) to pull in the same direction. The prioritization can help coordinate the group – helping everyone to pull in the same direction.
Reason 4: Actions can build on prior actions
Another reason why it is important to prioritize is that achieving certain activities will allow you to more easily expand into later areas. Thinking through which areas will make it easier to pursue other areas can help you achieve your ultimate objectives.
Reason 5: Companies succeed by making tradeoffs
The final reason to begin to prioritize is that ultimately you will have to develop your prioritization skills. Organizational success required focus and accepting tradeoffs. It is never possible for companies to be everything to everyone (and those that try are likely to get ‘stuck in the middle’, unable to satisfy any particular group).