When it comes to building a company, you have to expect the unexpected. This is especially true for deadlines and deliverables. Whatever you’re planning, be certain that it will be harder and take longer than you expect. That website you expected to go live in six weeks? Try six months. Raw material shipments won’t show up on time, joint ventures will come together late, meetings with potential partners and investors will take forever to line up, and customers will be slow to adopt your products. When planning your strategy, factor in the unexpected.
These delays are one of the key reasons to wait as long as possible before you ramp up your overhead. You could easily and unnecessarily disadvantage yourself if you start growing too early.
The unexpected is also important help you deal with third-party expectations. Whether it’s the press, investors, or potential customers, don’t set yourself up for failure. Hold off on announcements and promises until it’s already in the bag.