From Idea to Implementation – 7 Steps of Entrepreneurial Activity
From Idea to Implementation – 7 Steps of Entrepreneurial Activity
Like everything else, the long road to entrepreneurship starts with the first step. A step which is probably the most difficult to take. It is not easy to decide to become an entrepreneur and take full responsibility for your own future. However, a good business idea and the right moment makes it easy to take this step. Every successful business starts with taking a good idea and turning it into an opportunity. However, choosing an entrepreneurial path is just the beginning. To facilitate this path, we offer 7 essential steps that every entrepreneur must go through to turn their idea into a reality.
1. Find out exactly what problem you plan to solve
The fundamental idea of any company is that it solves a certain problem. No matter how fascinating our idea may be, the main question should always be: Can we actually manage to solve the customer’s problem?
Every company that exists today, regardless of size, solves a certain problem and is why it continues to operate. For example, Amazon has simplified e-commerce and offered customers a more flexible model than the original trade, Netflix, or even in the Georgian reality, Adjaraneti provided the entire collection of favorite movies to the screen users. A beer bar a few streets away from you has allowed locals to gather and socialize. Glovo, a delivery service, has cared for those who prefer to stay at home and has connected consumers with every kitchen in the city with a mobile app and multiple couriers.
2.Choose your market correctly
A well-chosen market is often the narrow line that distinguishes successful and unsuccessful businesses. Identifying customers, fully understanding their behaviors, desires, and problems will help you tailor your solutions to their needs.
Providing incorrect information about a product or service to the customer is a mistake that new entrepreneurs make most often. The closer and more direct you are to your existing and potential customers, the greater the chance that you will be able to identify their problems and then solve them correctly.
It is almost impossible to succeed independently. Although we are often reminded of only the first and last names of the companies’ most successful individuals, the reality is quite different. Properly selected business partners can play an important role in turning an idea into a reality, just as a poorly selected business partner can completely disrupt the process. When choosing a good partner, it is important to pay attention to how experienced they are in your chosen field, whether they have access to the necessary social circles, and how much they are interested in working with you.
Active communication with other entrepreneurs, industry experts, or just potential customers, exchanging ideas, and collaborating when needed is important as this process helps you refine and adapt your idea and potential product.
4.Create a financial model and plan the first phase
Once you have studied the market, you can now estimate its financial value. First, create a financial model based on the analysis of the product or service itself and needs, and then make the projections based on the analysis. Focus on how your product/service is created, how it is marketed and delivered to each buyer. Creating a similar model will help you better understand how your business will work. To meet expectations, it is necessary to create an additional financial plan that will assess the market’s size and the goals you will need to achieve for your business to be profitable.
Once your financial models are ready, you can move on to the next step of planning, when you share all your plans, expectations, and ideas equally and in detail with all the actors involved. Communicating similarly will help you present yourself and your team or other actors involved to avoid further difficulties in the next steps.
5.Seek financial capital
No matter the business’s purpose, you will definitely need to mobilize finances to get started. The sources of funding differ significantly from one another in terms of production volume and objectives. In the case of small businesses, self-financing, investments from friends and family, a small loan, or credit may be enough. However, in case of need of large resources, the so-called “Business Angels” and/or venture capital funds, simply put, investors who will invest in your business idea in exchange for a share of future profits, will be the best choice. Regardless of the form in which you decide to mobilize resources, it is essential that you have a well-thought-out and assessed potential risks and dangers.
6.The first real test and adaptation
Launching a product and getting feedback from the customer is an important step in building a successful business. To go through this process painlessly, it is necessary to use the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Using MVP will help you evaluate your business idea and enable you to make a final decision. It is essential to understand the importance of a minimal practical product. It does not mean offering a defective or poorly maintained product to our buyer. On the contrary, the product that you offer to the customer must definitely solve the problem that you aimed to solve at the beginning of the business; however, its character must allow the product to be refined and developed.
Even large and successful companies like Amazon and Facebook initially presented the consumer with a Minimum Viable Product format. One of the most successful digital trading platforms initially limited to book exchanges, the social media giant was only available to specific university students. Examples of proper selection and use of the Minimum Viable Product are numerous in the Georgian market. The successful Georgian brand, Crosty, first appeared on the market in minimalist shoes, which was enough to create a brand identity and establish the first interaction with the customer. Later, the brand offered a more risky and individually designed product to customers. In the case of the Georgian clothing brand “Fafanaki,” MVP became one of the Georgian traditional clothing’s simplest attributes – Kabalakhi, which raised customer’s attention to the brand and facilitated its future development.
After launching a Minimum Viable Product on the market, it is essential to get the customer’s most detailed feedback: What did you like or dislike about our product? What and why would you want to change? Did you buy the same product/service over and over again? Answers to such questions will help you refine and prepare your product to enter wider markets and/or offer a better, tailored product to the customers.
If, after launching a Minimum Viable Product, we are convinced that our initial assumptions did not correspond to reality and made a mistake in assessing the market, it does not necessarily mean that everything we have done so far is a waste of hard work. On the contrary, we are already a few steps ahead of other potential new entrepreneurs, and we can continue the process not from scratch but by correcting mistakes.
If your Minimum Viable Product has received positive reviews from consumers, congratulations because it means that your idea is now a reality and you are a successful entrepreneur.
7.Maintain a positive attitude
No matter how banal it may sound, your mood can determine your success in entrepreneurship. The path from idea to implementation is not easy, you will definitely encounter many obstacles, unforeseen factors that can prolong the process of turning an idea into a reality, but it is necessary always to maintain a positive attitude. Your role as a leader is to create a positive environment and mood for your employees and partners.
Maintaining the right attitude is essential even after the consumer receives and assesses your product positively. The market and the trends in the market are actively changing. Therefore it is necessary to maintain a careful and positive attitude to maintain a successful entrepreneurial activity for a long time.