As many of you know, I have “entrepreneurial” blood. My Dad is a serial-entrepreneur that has started several successful companies, my sister and brother-in-law have started/owned a couple successful companies (including their current venture – Circle M Trailers), many of my uncles, cousins, etc. I have also leaned towards entrepreneurship in my career with iChoose (traditional early dot-com start-up), Blockbuster Online (was literally outside hire #1 for the online business and helped build, launch and grow Blockbuster Online), and of course my current role at ThinkCash.
I’ve been lucky enough to have many friends and business associates solicit my help over the years to help them evaluate new business opportunities or refine business plans. I recently came across a story in the Financial Times about entrepreneur Luic Le Meur, which had one of the best top-10 list I’ve ever seen for launching a new business, so I though I would share it here:
- Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible
- Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
- Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
- Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
- Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
- Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
- Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
- Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
- Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
- Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.
For those closet-entrepreneurs out there thinking of some new venture, definitely take the 10 points above to-heart. There is no master plan for success, but the points above are a good start.