Business

Young: Ask yourself the hard questions about your dream

How many times have we all dreamed of creating an entrepreneurial venture from the germ of an idea?

We cross paths with people everyday who fantasize as we do about embarking on an entrepreneurial journey.

But, there is an ever-present hesitancy that arises due to, among other factors, the inherent risks associated.

Make no mistake, however, that entrepreneurship is liberating and empowering. It is also quite possible to eliminate some of the risks if one zealously engages in a sensible, strategic process when investigating a potential venture creation.

Such a process should always begin with a search for the right venture, the right idea for you, then to source out funding to establish a structure upon which to exploit that opportunity in the marketplace.

Such a process may, at first glance, appear simple and straightforward. But there are some crucial elements within each step of that journey that do empower aspiring entrepreneurs to minimize risk and  embrace a successful business launch.

Let’s explore that concept a bit for a moment. The world is full of ideas, virtually limitless. Thus, there are no lack of opportunities out there, arguably perhaps more than at any other time in history.

An opportunity is simply an idea worth pursuing.  Entrepreneurial opportunities arise from social and technological change within our society.

And the changes we’re going through now, both socially and technologically in both magnitude and rate, are definitely greater than we have ever seen before.

So where is the next million dollar idea come opportunity hiding, waiting to be discovered? The answer is  “within you.”

Remember my old dictums—an entrepreneur looks at the world the same as everyone else but thinks differently, and  an entrepreneur looks at the world and sees solutions instead of continuing problems.

Still, a great idea alone doesn’t logically guarantee success. An entrepreneur needs to be able to recognize when a concept has a realistic and potentially realizable chance to become something tangible and “ hit it out of the park.”

Thus, opportunity recognition is the mantra of clear choice for your entrepreneurial expedition.

But how do you recognize this idea that you hope becomes an opportunity for you?

What exactly does this little creature look like?

It does, in reality, have to do with analyzing both the product or service in relation to the market you hope it will serve and explore if they may intersect favourably.

I have assembled over the years what I call an  Opportunity Screening Guide, which will take a bagful of ideas and filter the good from the not so good with a desired outcome of discovering one or two ideas that may logically be moved to a business plan milestone toward venture launch.

I have always simply stated to all that  if your perceived idea/s can’t make it through my guide safely, then perhaps that idea is not for you, that perhaps it’s best to skip that one out and move to your next dreamscape.

Let me capsulize the following gospel: An idea is an opportunity when it is attractive, durable, timely and is anchored in a product or service that creates or adds value for its end user.

The most successful entrepreneurs are opportunity-focused; that is, they start their journey into the entrepreneurial world with a focus on what the customer and the marketplace wants and needs. Never lose sight of these points.

I would like to ask you to join me in exploring this process:

a) Market demand—we are looking for a potential set of customers in the marketplace who may be currently underserved and who may be looking for a particular product or service to fill a specific need that they have.  Such a product or service that adds value to people’s lives is the foundation of a successful entrepreneurial venture and will assist in the product or service selling itself.

b) Passion—always a favourite of mine, as my friends and colleagues will attest, as being passionate about your new product or service increases your ability and enthusiasm to market it. That passion also makes it easier to endure the tough times and testing moments of establishing and building your venture. It somehow feels easier because it has meaning and purpose for you, and you are far more likely to persevere where others may stumble.  Being passionate also means you will be more inclined to build your skills, expertise and understanding of the particular product or service you are intending to take to the market.

c) Skills—we all develop certain skills through the experiences of our life and our career/job paths. Most people with then intend to match such skills with a market need to create their opportunity. When launching an entrepreneurial venture, one can draw on a far broader range of skills and experiences to add value to their journey in the marketplace.

d) Resources—last but definitely not least, access to relevant resources can make the venture launch a reality and even contribute to providing the aspiring entrepreneur with a competitive advantage.

I believe this framework can guide your process search to turn you idea into practical action or to move on to something else.

If you have a dormant entrepreneurial spirit, explore the questions I have outlined today and I’m confident it will inspire you to think, act and behave entrepreneurially in the pursuit of your entrepreneurial dream.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Community Events, July 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.