For many Americans, the dream of owning a business is in our blood. It’s part of who we are and it’s what motivates us in the morning. I can say from experience that being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, but it’s also one of the most challenging.
As you might expect, all forms of entrepreneurship begin with an idea. Whether it’s a new product or a new service, this idea is designed to fill a need. Oftentimes, these ideas come forward while you’re working on something else. You might say to yourself, “Hey, I could make this better if I: A) had this type of service to use, or B) if I had a tool that would make the job easier.”
Still, it’s a long way from idea to implementation. Creating the idea is the easy part; it’s the drive, determination and dedication that turn an idea into a successful entrepreneurial pursuit.
Here’s how entrepreneurs take ideas from the drawing board and into the boardroom:
Consider the idea from every angle. Work out the kinks as you see them, and begin developing a plan. What niche will your product/service fulfill? How will you create the product/service? How will you market it? If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like creating a business plan, you’re absolutely right.
Pick your plan apart. This is one of the most challenging aspects of entrepreneurship because it forces the entrepreneur to look past the rosy visions of their success and instead, to their weaknesses and flaws.
Let “Domain Experts” pick the plan apart. Once you’ve picked your own plan apart, get input from “domain experts” – people with experience and a successful track record. If your success depends on great distribution, find a distribution expert and get their advice. If product design is key, a design expert. Get multiple experts, especially in areas where your experience is light. It’s worth getting their opinion now and if possible, their advice along the way.
Show me the money! Once your idea is solid, you’ll most likely need to secure financing before you can get to work. This means taking your idea and putting it in front of stage- appropriate investors. Good news is right now is a perfect time to raise early stage funding, especially for technology ideas. Here is a link to top 10 tips for fundraising http://huff.to/1oOyr62
Recruit the right core team. Ideas come and go, but ideas that go from the drawing board to the boardroom do so because the team works tirelessly to transform the idea into a successful endeavor. Companies are not solo acts. Figure out the core skills and experience you need and recruit a great team.
Starting a business comes with tremendous risks and rewards. Entrepreneurship is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. However, if you have the drive, dedication and determination to turn your ideas into a viable business, I assure you, it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.
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