Rants & Raves

5 must know tips for successful entrepreneurs

The web is littered with tips for successful entrepreneurs and “overnight” success stories, the kind of story that some guy sitting in garage somewhere came up with the next big idea that propelled him to riches mere mortals can only imagine. Most people only read the high level, journalist view of the story, that all it took for this guy to become 3rd place on the worlds rich list, is that he knock up a web page in HTML, because he had some brainwave in the shower! All it took for that brainwave to become a reality was little bit of keyboard jujitsu.

Sadly the reality is always different from the fairy tale. The fairy tale is what most budding wannapreneurs cling too and believe in. It’s the belief that if that can guy can do it I can! Don’t get me wrong, I do still strongly believe that anybody can achieve anything, however they will need a lot more than just a bright idea and a belief in fairy tales. There is a lot of hard work, bitter disappointments and huge amounts of stress, but eventually things will fall into place and all it takes is perseverance and the ability to adapt, innovate and learn quickly from failure. Success is only failing less often, and learner quickly from mistakes.

With failing and learning from mistakes in mind, I thought I’d compile a short list of things to do and why to do them, in order to help you to fail alot quicker with your next shower idea venture. These are key areas to focus on.

How to succeed if failure is what you’re looking for

he following text was taken verbatim from www.startuply.com, a website focused on connecting skilled people with start-ups.

Overview

Looking for sometime to become a key partner in a new business with explosive opportunities. We seek to capitalize on what Craigslist cannot – provide a useful, transactional and safe online environment for selling or buying household items. 

I cannot do this myself, so looking for someone to chip in with half the work and be a 50% owner. 

Apply and we an talk about the amazing opportunity to overtake the eBay and Craigslist market.

Responsibilities
Help define and implement the business goals.
Develop strategy, write code and contribute technically.
Experience
Experience in online software, web deign, startups, and laser focus on developing and growing his business.
Compensation
50% ownership

Sadly, an advert such as this are frightfully common.  I can  also assure you that if I don’t get at least 3-4 of these types of proposals pitched at me a month, it’s been a good month.  Nothing guarantee’s failure quicker than this ill pitched dream.  This guy clearly just got out the shower, with an idea of taking over the world.  He know doubt felt that at the time of writing this advert, he clearly had all the skills, mastery and vision of Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Warren Buffett combined.

So what can we learn from this visionary of our times?

Always under estimate the scale of the undertaking

Nothing ensures failure like totally under estimating what it takes to start a business.  So like the guy in the advert just pick any 2 of the biggest players in any field, and think you can beat them if only you could join up with some other individual off the internet who’s just as good as you are!  The only criteria you’re looking for is that your virtual partner is good with computers and stuff.

2.  Always think that having an idea has more value than doing the work to implement it

Sadly coming up with a business idea is just 1% of the effort required to start a business. The other 99% is just pure hard work and perseverance.  Starting an online business and taking it on to being a success, is just brutal hard work! There are so many pitfalls and hardships you need to go through just to break even, let alone turn a  profit.

One of the biggest issues with having a “great idea” is that you usually need to follow them up with a load more great ideas. You’ll also be required to come up with a great load of new great ideas everyday. An idea by itself is value-less, implementing the idea and persevering with it and making it work if a whole lot more effort. You can’t build a successful business based on just one idea,  a successful business is built on the execution and implementation of loads of ideas, some may have been great, some bad and others completely diabolical, but the fact is they have been executed and whatever outcomes were, they have been learned from.

Always think your idea is unique and it will work

Nothing ensures failure quicker than not validating your idea with real customers first! Just go ahead and implement your idea, and wait for the customers to come knocking down your doors to get it. “Build it, and they will come” should be your war cry.

You should always be so convinced of your own genius, that you know mere mortals will never understand you.  6 billion other people you share the planet with, not one of them has thought of the same idea as you have.

4. Always under estimate your competition

Your multinational, high revenue earning, multi talented, with highly skilled staff competitors are just ready to be taken out by two guys working at a coffee shop table – because they haven’t earned enough money to get an office – because one of them had a bright Idea in the shower!

I’m the first to concede that leaner, more nimbler companies are always able to side step behemoths, but usually they have better thought out plans, clearer visions and generally are able to validate their ideas quicker, learn quicker and adapt.

5. Always think that if you have nothing to offer all you need to do is offer 50% of it

This guy clearly has nothing to offer, but yet he still only wants to give 50% of it away.  I’m sure Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones and the other Dragons are itching to get a piece of this action.  I’m sure they’ll part with £1, 000, 000 of their hard fought capital to get just 15% of this unique market beating proposal.

Conclusion

Whenever you next have your next bright business idea in the shower, be sure to come right back to this post, and ensure you don’t follow any of these steps.  The are vast amounts of research you need to undertake to ensure that your business takes off.  You need a lot more than just tracking down some guy who write a bit of code. Writing a great software product takes a lot more work, than writing code.  Getting people to use our software takes a lot more work than just developing an idea.

Gary Woodfine

Helps businesses by improving their technical proficiencies and eliminating waste from the software development pipelines. A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.

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