Fancy the idea of running your own business? A little fed up with the monotony of a 9:00am –5:00pm routine? Here are 5 steps to get you well on your way to entrepreneurship.
1. Identify industries that fascinate you
Given the courage, hard work and long hours that go into starting your own business, you probably want your business to be in an industry that fascinates you, and that can utilize your skills and knowledge.
Identify industries in which your skills are best applicable, and your hobbies exploitable. Conduct an analysis of these industries to identify unmet customer needs, unexploited opportunities, and unaddressed inefficiencies.
2. Define the need or opportunity, and then brainstorm potential solutions
Once you have a good list of opportunities, needs or inefficiencies you think could be addressed, brainstorm potential solutions. Remember to think outside the box, and to record every single thought no matter its simplicity, or inconceivability. Crazy solutions are fine. Write them down. For instance, your conceived solution for helping companies reduce stress at the workplace could be manufacturing carpets that massage the feet! Maybe not too crazy! Innovative nevertheless. The solution you are seeking could be a combination of ideas from different fields, or it could be an improvement on already existing solutions. Apple came into being after the likes of IBM and Hewlett Packard had already envisioned mass marketed desktop and personal computers. Their different approach to design and to the user experience made them, not uniqueness that had never been visualized before.
3. Turn your solutions into value propositions
You now have a list of potential solutions for your chosen need in your chosen industry. Narrow them down based on criteria such as feasibility and sustainability, team skills and ease of implementation and opportunity for monetization. Research intensively and talk to experts about your idea, all the while using feedback and finding to redefine and refine your idea. Let your idea evolve. Do not be scared of ending up with a solution that differs from what you’d earlier envisioned. Ultimately, you should be able to express your solution in approximately 40 characters. Great! You now have a value proposition that defines what your business does.
4. Design a timeline for next steps
Having defined a value proposition for your business, now design a plan of action with tasks to be completed, and deadlines. Some of the important tasks at this point include creating a complete team that exhibits the skills needed to execute your idea, deciding how your idea will be funded and working towards that, working on the prototype, and researching the industry and the market.
5. Get going
You have probably come across frightening statistics about how many new businesses fail. That should not dampen your drive, but it should prepare you to be ready to learn from your mistakes and to go back to the drawing board.