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Planning Lean

Tue, 17 December 2013

Contributed by Jennifer Duthie, Skribbies founder and Shell LiveWIRE alumna.
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ apparently…well I say bah-humbug to that! Us Brits like to plan, it’s what we do. We’re cautious, we like lists, we like information and we like to be able to point the finger when something goes wrong. But let me tell you what is risky, especially in business: planning for too long. Not taking the first step, doing rounds and rounds of market research and being stuck forever in analysis paralysis. 
My advice to startups is to plan less and do more! Take the first step, right now. If you have an idea get it out there, test it in the market, reach out to people and do it with virtually no cash! You do not need a finished product and a flashy website to know if there is demand for your idea/invention/service. You can test this with a minimum viable product and a splash page. It doesn’t have to look that pretty, just a picture of your service, why it rocks and the functionality to grab an email address. Even better if you have a ‘buy it now’ button and see if people actually click it.
The best thing about the lean startup methodology is it allows you to iterate and improve your product/service so that when you hit the market you have something your customers actually want, not some crazy off the wall idea that only you would buy!  
Speaking from my own experience of Skribbies, the thing I love about being a lean startup is that it makes you more agile and reactive to market needs rather than inwardly focused. It also changes your attitude towards failure. If it all goes wrong then you dodged a bullet and can move one step closer to success as you rectify any issues you have uncovered. I definitely recommend reading ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries – with a little extra free time over Christmas there’s no time like the present!
So, if you spent the whole of 2013 thinking about your business idea, spend 2014 making it happen!

About Jennifer Duthie

Jennifer Duthie is a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award winner, a 2013 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist, and the founder of Skribbies, a UK based company which produces super comfy kids trainers that have been developed with a special material and magic pens to allow your kids to create their own style, every day from new. Kids can draw all over their shoes, wipe it off then start again from new. Like a whiteboard on a shoe.
The idea of Skribbies came when reminiscing about the sweeter days of childhood. Inspired by the fabric paints of the 90s, Jennifer wanted to develop a product for kids that was more versatile and would allow kids to keep on customising. Wanting to leave a mark on the world Jennifer left the corporate world in 2011 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
You can follow her on Twitter @Skribbies

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