For a new entrepreneur, starting a business can be a mystery. You just do not know where to start because there are so many things to do and so many risks you want to avoid. Generally, there are two ways to begin. Some start by doing a business plan, while others just start selling with only a product in hand and market in mind. I like to call the latter Quick Set Up. Both paths can be a good way to initiate the business. The business plan is effective if you plan to bring in investors early on in the business. On the other hand, Quick Set Up is a good way to get the ball rolling fast and find out if your are assumptions are correct or not. For this article I will not focus on starting a business by creating a formal business plan. Instead, I will zero in on the entrepreneur’s way of starting a business.
Entrepreneurs have a different way of approaching a start-up. They employ Quick Set Up. This means that rather than sitting for a long time doing endless studies and analyses, entrepreneurs, with an idea in mind, quickly create a prototype to test their products or services. As they have their product or service tested, they also gather important data that will help in the improvement of their product or find out if there is a market acceptance for their product. Data gathering and improvement is done continuously and endlessly. The latter process will protect the business from the effects of ever changing business landscape.
Below is the framework for Active Improvement:
Finding your desire is vital in stating a business. Everything we do begins with liking the activity or having an interest in it. For entrepreneurs, it can be as vague as I want to have a business or I want to earn extra income or as specific as I want to have a travel agency business or I want to have a restaurant. Desire is important because you can never do anything successful without having to like it first. Your desire for one activity can lead you to become passionate with it, which then may lead to a business opportunity.
Designing the business involves a study of the marketing, operations, human resource and financial study. This is important for an entrepreneur because it gives him an understanding of the business process more than its feasibility. An experienced entrepreneur knows that a study is only a prediction of what can happen but does not always happen.
This is the stage where the entrepreneur develops a prototype of the business. It is released even if the product is not yet perfect. A prototype is made to understand the strength and weakness of the product. Also to tries to assess if the chosen target market reacts positively to the product or not. The prototype will decrease the risk level of the business because it is meant to test your idea rather than betting all your money to an untested product.
This part of the framework is where the entrepreneur tweaks and improves the product. He or she considers the positive and negative aspects of the business based on all the comments of the early users and incorporates it to make a better version of the product. Also at this point the entrepreneur makes an assessment if the business is feasible before he goes to make the next move of full deployment.
When the product has undergone improvements, it is time to fully deploy and scale up. At this point it is advisable to bring in more cash to grow the business. Money can be loaned from the bank or sell part of the business to investor. It will just depend on the owner if he wants to retain control or willing to share the control of the business.
Quick Set Up is a process that will help you start a business as fast as possible and with lower risk. This is best applied to small businesses or home based businesses. The key to this framework is the development of a prototype for testing that will give you an indication is the business is feasible or not. The beauty of this framework is that it has been used and proven to be effective. This is also the same framework I use to start my ventures. The next time you will start a business, do not spend too much time on the business plan. Make a prototype and test the waters right away.
Thank you for taking time to read. I would appreciate if you leave comments below.