Quick question – “What is the most important quality Venture Capitalist look for when investing in a start-up?” Did you answer business model, idea or innovation? You are wrong. If you answered team members you are close, but not quite there. The most important quality any start-up needs to have is the founders’ ability to execute and develop the idea into a successful business. You see, developing a successful business from an idea is like running a marathon. You can start strong, but if you are not able to sustain for long and execute your plan you will never be able to cross that finish line.
Many people see a successful business with an interesting idea and think that was theirs. Well, here is the reality – while you may think you have a great, breakthrough idea that can revolutionize the business there are probably ten other people thinking along similar lines. It’s the one who can execute it that comes out as the winner.
So, how do you make sure your idea morphs into a successful business and doesn’t end up collecting dust on the shelf? Here are few tips.
Take an iterative approach
For an idea to get anywhere you first have to start acting on it. Most people wait till they have thought about all possibilities and have a complete plan in place before taking any action. This is a wrong approach. The best thing to do is to start taking baby steps and develop a prototype. Even if it is a limited version of the final product you have in mind it is important that you develop it and put it out for people to review. This not only helps you test your idea with others, but it also limits your losses if your potential customers do not agree with your thinking. Only by taking an iterative approach of develop, publish, test and improve will you be able to build the product and business that can succeed in the market.
At any given time people probably have five different ideas floating in their head. There is no way you can turn them all into a successful business. I have seen people who jump from idea to idea without turning a single one into a viable business. The best approach is to pick one and do it. Remember, it doesn’t get done till you do it.
Don’t be afraid to fail
This is probably the single most reason why ideas don’t get translated into a successful business. People are afraid of taking a first step due to fear of failure. They keep thinking about the consequences of failure and refrain from taking that first step. As we all know those who don’t start cannot finish. You have to embrace the failure and learn from it. That is why the suggestion I made earlier about starting small and taking iterative approach is so important.
What do you think? Any other ideas to turn those ideas into a successful business?
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