I have got a brilliant idea that going to make me a lot of money! That’s the pitch I usually get from budding enthusiastic entrepreneurs. My questions now are:
Is a brilliant idea all it takes to start a business? Does a smart business idea guarantee success when starting a business from scratch? Is a business idea the minimum, most important requisite for starting a business? Will a million dollar idea; see you through the entrepreneurial process of starting a business from scratch. Well, you will find out further down this article.
Sometime ago, I went into a fast food outlet to honor an appointment and I met some youths in the lobby. From my observation, they were waiting to be interviewed for a job at the fast food. Just immediately, an idea cropped in my mind and I joined these young lads waiting to be employed. While in the waiting line, I started a conversation with a young man who should be in his mid 20s.
The young man, who turned out to be a graduate told me he had a passion for cooking. He told me he had a plan to set up a restaurant and based on the detailed plan he gave me; I knew this guy has something innovative up his sleeves and I loved it. He even had a name for his dream restaurant. I asked him what’s holding back the dream of starting a business from being made real and he said he has been trying to raise capital from his wealthy relations.
“There are fast ideas and slow ideas, just as there are fast trains and slow trains. When it comes to money, most people are on the slow train looking out the window watching the fast train pass them by. If you want to become rich quickly, your plan must include fast ideas.” – Robert Kiyosaki
In as much as I loved the young man’s idea; I nodded my head, shook his hand and bid him good luck. On my way to honor the appointment, I kept thinking about this young man. He was cool, smart, enthusiastic and had a brilliant idea backed by a university degree. I really loved the guy and his idea but it’s a pity; the world is filled with brilliant business ideas and I just wish I had told him that. But how would he take it?
I am not writing this to discourage budding entrepreneurs from coming up with creative ideas. In fact, I am writing this to encourage you to think and come up with good business ideas. But most importantly, I want you to think beyond the idea because a business idea is just the starting point to starting a business.
“Dream more than others. Think practical.” – Howard Schultz
The world is filled with budding entrepreneurs carrying business plans and seeking investment capital. The sad news is that 85% of these entrepreneurs are never going to go beyond the initial planning stage and that’s the hard truth.
Now what does it takes to start a new business?
That may be the question on your mind. While I believe there is no conventional answer to this question; I will try to provide street smart answer but before I do, I suggest you ponder on the following questions:
Did the successful entrepreneurs and richest school dropout billionaires become ultimately rich because of their ideas? Did Rachael Ray start a restaurant business before harnessing her cooking potential? Did Debbi Field’s wait to raise millions of dollars in capital before starting her cookie business?
Of the entire social networking platforms available; why did Facebook emerge the most popular thus, making its founder Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire in the world?
“A business idea is just another idea. But an idea backed by a strong feasibility report, a thorough business plan and a smart team is no longer an idea. It’s now a solid business opportunity worth pursuing.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
In answer to the illustrations and questions asked above, I want you to know that Rachael Ray didn’t start a restaurant business before she began making millions from her cooking recipe.
She simply took her business idea, struck a deal with a local television network and became a self made millionaire. No restaurant, no external funding and no million dollar infrastructure. All she had was just her cooking recipe and a television network joint venture; that was all.
Debbi Field’s did not wait for some investors or Venture Capitalists to invest in her passion for baking cookies. She simply looked for a good business location, baked some cookies with her own money and walked around her vicinity giving away free cookies.
Facebook was not the only social networking platform available online; in fact, MySpace has already been in business long before Facebook came on board. Was it Mark Zuckerberg’s idea that led to Facebook’s success? I don’t think so. These three selected entrepreneurs all possessed average business ideas but they had something which other entrepreneurs lack.
In this article, I am going to reveal to you five things you need to start a business and become successful other just than an idea. This write up will help reduce your over concentration on the business idea and shift it to developing the most necessary requirements to starting a business.
Building a business around an idea requires everything you’ve got. You are the ultimate key to the realization and utilization of that business idea. To start a business and build the business of your dreams, you need a little of the following:
5 Things You Need to Start a New Business from Scratch
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week, but today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell
Launching a business out of the planning board require guts; quitting your job to start your own business require guts, believing in your business idea even when everyone says you are nuts requires guts and facing business challenges also require guts. That’s why I listed guts as number one. Guts, chutzpa, boldness, brevity, courage; they all mean the same thing. Without entrepreneurial guts, just forget about starting a business.
“You are nuts and you should be proud of it. Stick with what you believe in.” – Trip Hawkins
The next thing you need to make your business idea a reality is skills. What are you bringing to the table? This is the question you must answer when seeking joint ventures and business partnerships.
Your possessed entrepreneurial skills are very important to the realization of your ideas because your skills can be a strength or competitive advantage for your business. Skills are a necessity when searching for a business team.
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.” – Rich Dad
Have you heard the phrase that “entrepreneurs are generalists.” I think there is an atom of truth in that statement. Entrepreneurs are generalist, they need to know a little of everything that pertains to business. That’s where your business skills come in.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know a little of accounting, investing, sales, marketing, operations and business management in general. Before ever starting a business; be sure to hone your sales skills, marketing skills, communication skills, negotiation skills, accounting skills, leadership skills, people skills and every other entrepreneurial skills that’s required to succeed in business.
“Skills make you rich, not theories.” – Rich Dad
You probably must have heard this over and over again but I think it’s worth repeating. You can’t build a business if you lack the right mindset. Entrepreneurship is not really about starting or building a business.
“Starting a business is like building a ship and embarking on a voyage, armed with a plan, a map and a team. You will have to sail against storms, unpredictable weather and uncertainty. If your ship sinks, it’s either you quit or you swim back to shore, build a new ship and sail again.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Entrepreneurship is simply a change in perception or core value. It’s the process of developing your mindset from being job dependent to being financially independent. It’s a shift from being handicapped in the face of challenges to being a problem solver. In all, entrepreneurship is simply a change of mindset.
I believe you know that no business idea is worth a pinch of salt without capital. I don’t want to stress much on this because I believe you know the significance of capital to any business.
But in retrospect, I always advice my protégés not to be deterred by lack of capital. I encourage them to get creative when it comes to financing their small business startups; where there is a will, there will surely be a way.
“There are three components to starting a business. One is the right plan; two is the right team and three is the money. Rarely do these three components come together when starting a business. It’s the duty of an entrepreneur to grab one piece and start the business, the remaining two pieces will be found along the way. Finding the remaining two components may take a year or more than 10 years; the point is, start with what you have.” – Robert Kiyosaki
“Individuals don’t win in business, teams do.” – Sam Walton
Finally, you need the right business management team in place to build a business around your idea. For your business idea to leave the planning phase, it’s going to require the right business team. If you can assemble the right team to deliver on your plans, I bet you will find the venture capital because a strong business team is an essential ingredient to the process of raising capital from Venture capitalists.
Now how do you find the right team? I don’t know. How do you know you’ve found the right business team? Once again, I don’t know but what I do know is that the right team is a team that complements your weakness and adds value to your business. A good way to know you have the right team in place is that your business will take off like wild fire and gain grounds seamlessly with little or no effort on your part.
As a final note, these are the five things I believe are fundamental to either starting a business from scratch or building a successful business. So don’t get too excited because you feel you’ve got a creative idea up your sleeves; instead, start strategizing on ways to assemble the five elements listed above for your business.
Remember, the world is filled with brilliant million dollar ideas waiting to be funded but the world lacks seasoned entrepreneurs. Take this lesson to heart and I will see you at the top.