Validation – (Discover Prompts #10 – ORCHESTRATE)
The eureka moment for any small business is not that you have found a gap in the market but that you have found a market in the gap. This blog post is about validating your fantasy.
You’ve planned the story around that gap. You have created a vision for the future and underpinned by the values that motivate you, and the team that is going to deliver the outcomes. You have even considered the growth stages and resources needed. Now is time to ensure that there is a sustainable market in that gap.
I have written two whole paragraphs without mentioning cash-flow forecasting. Don’t switch off! This is not about a boring inane spreadsheet with figures that are, at best, a guess and at worst, a work of fiction in their own right. Your cash-flow forecast quantifies, qualifies, and justifies your assumptions. Just as, a fiction writer creates characters with personalities that interact with others in the plot, the figures that populate your cash flow forecast will also tell a story. If the figures do not appear genuine; if they do not interact with one another properly, then the story loses its continuity and credibility.
You may also like this metaphor, the score for each of the instruments in an orchestra plays a different series of notes that, together create an overture. If you are an auditory learner you might just appreciate the calm and the storms and of course, the jubilant finale. As, each of the instruments has a different part to play in the telling of the story, so do each of the lines in your cashflow forecast.
As you start to populate your forecast, the figures will either validate your assumptions or challenge you to orchestrate other options. You are the conductor of your cash flow forecast. Just as the conductor keeps just ahead of the music that is being played by her orchestra, you, the owner-manager is keeping track of how the income and expenses ebb and flow.
I am looking for more powerful illustrations that may help to elevate the cash-flow forecast to its rightful position in business and personal planning. If you have any immediate metaphors that spring to mind I’d love you to share.