If you build it, they will come.
Reality: Thanks, Kevin Costner. Your field of dreams has birthed an ideological nightmare for many entrepreneurs who have come up with an idea and opened their doors, fully expecting customers to come flocking . . . just because.
Little do these entrepreneurs know that all the precious time they've spent building their companies is just the beginning of their endeavors. Now comes the real work: planning, timing, strategizing and more.
Business writers already know this. Consider some of the book titles on the shelves today: Visionary Selling, Innovation Management, and The Leadership Engine.
"Entrepreneurship takes more than just spontaneous improvisation," says Gene Kahn, founder and president of Cascadian Farm Inc., an organic food company based in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. "I've improved as an entrepreneur over time by shifting the business away from a completely improvisational culture to a planned culture. We're a company that has been growing at approximately 50 percent per year for quite some time, and we need controls in place to maintain our sanity and stay afloat."