Blog Fail

Why Companies with Good Ideas Still Fail

Good ideas are like parachutes: everyone can get one, but not everyone knows how to operate one to save their life. If you strap a parachute to an elephant and drop it out an airplane, it’s not going to be able to deploy the canopy or flap its ears ‘Dumbo-style’ out of trouble.

Here’s the concept: turning good ideas into successes is not just about dreaming and talking about it. Turning it into a reality will call for clear intent and a breakdown of tasks for a clear road map.

You’re not the only one with this problem. Hundreds, if not thousands, of fresh-faced entrepreneurs each year have been inspired to incorporate new companies after being inspired by a good idea and believing that is enough.

Instead of asking yourself, “Is this a good idea?” The better question to ask is: “How does this idea contribute to the success of my business?”

Why Do We Think Good Ideas Are So Important?

In the past few decades, the value of a ‘good idea’ has been over inflated.

We celebrate entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs on his “thinking differently” about computers.

We applaud Elon Musk for his idea of electric cars driving the future and reusable rockets to fuel his bigger idea to colonize Mars.

But did we stop to think about how they did it? How they overcame the mundane problems of employee administration and logistical challenges to mass-manufacture thousands of consumer products?

I’ve come to realize one thing: It’s not the idea, but the execution behind it that should be your focus.

“Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”-Thomas Edison

Saved by Execution

In  2001, AirAsia was an inevitable failure, but Tony Fernandez saw things differently.

The airline was heavily in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. But where others saw adversity, he saw an opportunity. He bought the airline for only one Malaysian Ringgit (worth US $0.26) with a debt totaling US $11 million dollars.

Launching new routes and pricing themselves competitively against other local airlines, AirAsia was profitable in just ONE year. That feat took not only a great idea but brilliant execution.

Here’re some bite-sized lessons from AirAsia’s remarkable accomplishments:

  • Ideas alone aren’t tangibleA good idea can help you define a game-plan but that’s where it ends for most business owners. Unless you know how to translate that idea to business success, that idea alone has little to zero value.
  • Ideas aren’t focusedA business has many components; you have to think about finances, marketing, sales, managing your resources, logistics, supply chain, and so much more. A good idea doesn’t help you define how all of these are going to work together to drive your business to success.
  • Ideas are relativeAny business idea is a brainchild of one or more individuals. This means that an idea that might seem great to you might not seem that great to someone else. This relativity affects how marketable your idea will be once you start your business.
  • Execution puts your idea to the testHere is the reality check for all businesses. The validity of your business idea is tested when that idea is executed. Companies like Groupon and Amazon might have started with great ideas but they became industry leaders by mastering their strategies.
  • Execution helps you tweak the ideaSometimes companies come up with great ideas only to realize they aren’t as marketable as they thought. This is where great execution can help you tweak your idea so you can keep up with ever-changing market trends.
  • Execution helps you scale your businessAn important part of good execution is developing processes that streamline how your company works. Effective processes pave way for greater growth, allowing you to scale your business successfully.through the roof!
  • Discover what you’re good at and keep improving on itThe airline industry is a highly saturated market. Fernandez realized this early on and focused heavily on creating a unique product by capitalizing on what people wanted and became one of the largest budget carriers in the region.
  • Don’t give up!Failure is a part of every business. AirAsia also had its share of challenges (starting with massive debt) but what makes the brand great is that it persevered. Fernandez could have just passed on this ‘inevitable failure’, but he relentlessly drove the company to succeed, no matter the odds.

Smart execution can help you establish a brand that thrives in its niche.

A big part of execution is having a game plan. If your business is failing, chances are, you’re struggling with cash flow. Something is wrong with your sales process and the way you’re training your team. Get clear on the 5 Steps to Train Your Sales Team in 5 Days  and you’ll not only end up with some great ideas to run your business but some great ways to execute those ideas.