How many times have you sat at your desk, at the dinner table or driving your car and dreamed of creating your own idea for an entrepreneurial venture?
I cross paths with people every day who fantasize about that, embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey.
Yet here is an everpresent hesitancy that arises due to, among other factors, the inherent risks associated with pursuing that entrepreneurial dream.
Still, make no mistake—entrepreneurship is liberating and empowering. It’s quite possible to eliminate some of the risks if one zealously engages in a sensible, strategic process when investigating a potential venture idea.
That process should always begin with a search for the right venture idea fit, for which you may ultimately seek out source funding and establish a structure for you to exploit the 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 the journey that do empower aspiring entrepreneurs to minimize risk and ultimately embrace a successful launch.
Let’s explore for a moment. The world is full of ideas. They are virtually limitless.
Today, arguably, there are more opportunities present than there have ever been in history.
Entrepreneurial opportunities arise from social and technological change within our society.
So the changes we’re going through now, both from a social and technological standpoint, are definitely greater than we might ever expect to see.
So where is the next million dollar idea/opportunity hiding, waiting to be discovered? The answer to that question: Within you.
Remember one of my old dictums—an entrepreneur looks at the world the same as everyone else but thinks differently…sees solutions instead of continuing problems.
But 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.’
So, opportunity recognition is the mantra of clear choice for our entrepreneurial expedition.
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 an Opportunity Screening Guide which takes a bagful of ideas, filtered out the good from the not so good, that can logically be applied to a business plan venture launch.
I have always stated that if your perceived idea can’t make it through my screening guide, the idea might not be for you to pursue. If so, skip it and move on to the next dreamscape.
Let me capsulize for you dear readers, 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; they start their journey into the entrepreneurial world with a focus on what the customer and the marketplace wants and needs—and never lose sight of those points.
So join me in exploring this process:
We are looking for a potential set of customers in the marketplace who may be currently underserved ( such as our aging population) and who may be looking for a particular product or service to fill a specific unmet need. Such a product or service that adds value to peoples’ lives is the foundation of a successful entrepreneurial venture and will assist in the product or service selling itself.
Always a Joel favourite, being passionate about your new product or service increases your ability and enthusiasm to market it. It also makes it easier to endure the tough times and testing moments of establishing and building your venture.
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.
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.
Access to relevant resources can make the venture launch a reality and even contribute to providing the aspiring entrepreneur with a competitive advantage.
Apply this framework for your entrepreneurial idea search.
I also have a list in front of me with 50 tools for creating ideas that may be viewed at the website creatingminds.org/tools/tools_ideation.htm.
If you have an “entrepreneurial spirit” lying dormant, explore the content of this article today, go to the website, and I am confident will inspire you to think, act and behave entrepreneurially.
Best of luck!