When Patrick Stacy, SBEC financial & business mentor, was asked what advice he would give entrepreneurs, he had some very helpful insights. Read to find out more!
First off…the disclaimer. I am NOT an entrepreneur. But during my career as a CFO for middle-market businesses, I have helped entrepreneurs with great ideas turn those ideas into business success. However…here’s the conundrum. Most successful entrepreneurs undoubtedly start with a “great idea”. But not all great ideas become successful businesses. And why is that? There is no one answer to that question. Whether a great idea becomes a successful business or not depends on so many different factors that MAYBE I could address them in a book…but certainly NOT in a blog!
The biggest quandary is that every great idea is going to encounter its own unique set of factors that will determine its success. Will someone buy what you are selling? Can you manufacture it? Will you run out of money? How can I find good help? These are just a few common issues that different entrepreneurs have encountered in the past. And there are a myriad of others. Some of these factors are show stoppers…if you can’t sell what your great idea produces, sorry, but you don’t have a business model…you have a hobby.
So, how can an entrepreneur determine which issues could potentially derail her or his great idea on the way to Success Station? Again, no one answer fits all situations. But one simple method of attacking the question is to ask someone who knows more than you. If you have a critical patent question, you need to find a legal expert familiar with your product and get advice. If you’re not sure about how to market your product or service, find someone who knows a lot about that field and question them.
Ultimately, as an entrepreneur, the decision to move forward on your great idea is yours alone (or yours and your partners). And you may find that factors you believed were show stoppers are really not that crucial to your success or can be overcome with relative ease. But failing to get advice from experts in a number of different disciplines related to your great idea may be the ultimate factor in whether it succeeds or fails.
Most entrepreneurs don’t lack for belief in their idea, not do they lack the will or effort to make it happen. But if you don’t know what obstacles you will encounter on your journey, it’s hard to know if you’re tackling a difficult hill or Mt. Everest. There is not any one road map, but ask people who have taken similar treks and you may just reach your destination.
And one more thing…enjoy the journey!