The glossy business magazines will feature entrepreneurs who got their promising business ideas up and running in six months. These are the exceptions or what researchers call outliers. It leads you to believe that starting something from scratch can be done in record time and that instant success is forthcoming. What about all the other would-be entrepreneurs who take far longer to come up with a new business idea and even longer to get it off the ground?
The reality is that starting something from scratch, something of your own, something from a promising business idea, takes three times the duration to get it off the ground and will probably cost twice as much as the business gurus would leaf you to believe. It’s far better to have a realistic sense of what to expect when trying to develop something of your own than live in cloud cuckoo land expecting overnight success. One Internet business, for example, took 10 years before it became commercially viable, gaining enough traction to start getting noticed by Internet users.
This is not to put you off coming up with new business ideas – not at all. But the lesson, if there is one, is that it’s important to get started as soon as possible. It’s far better to get a minimal viable product developed, tested it and see whether there is demand for it than develop a product or service over the years that won’t attract demand. Circumstances change quickly in today’s marketplace and what you started developing a year or so ago may no longer be relevant.
Instead of sitting on your promising idea hoping one day to develop it, it might be more realistic to begin with small action steps and get it going. Your own personal circumstances may change and you may need an alternative source of income sooner than you expect. One entrepreneurial couple came back to the country and spent about two years looking for new business opportunities before they came up with a food product. Even after a year of developing their food product, securing distribution in health and delicatessen outlets, the product still has a long way to go before it will generate sufficient revenue and profit to provide an income.
The sooner you start working on your new business idea the better. Even though you may have fallen in love with your product or service idea, it may not be much liked by potential customers. If your preliminary product testing indicates that demand is not what you expected, you can start looking for something else that may be a better business proposition. You would have gained a lot by developing your initial product or service, which will stand you in good stead for your next venture. This accumulated activity knowledge is part of your personal business education and is invaluable experience.
If you are looking to fast-track your promising business idea, get hold of a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”. It’s a hands-on, practical workbook that shows how to develop a business idea from a mere notion or concept, tested it and do the necessary business planning for implementation. It helps you speed up your learning experience. Trial and error is important for learning but why go down unnecessary detours and cul-de-sacs if you can avoid them? The book is available. Just register your interest here and we will send you details.