Sunday, 20 February 2011

Frightened of a good idea?

So you have what you believe is the next great idea for a web site (please feel free to substitute "web site" for any idea you may have). I have been faced with this situation on a number of occasion and to date, I am not at all sure that I have got it right.

Back in the mid-eighties I had the idea for a franchise business. I won't bother naming names as there is little point, other than to say it was a service targeted at any householder. The problem was that no one else within my immediate circle of friends, family and colleagues thought it was a good idea. So I didn't have the confidence to pursue it, despite going to talk to my bank and getting a loan agreed in principle. That business now has 100s of franchisees. The next opportunity was my first venture with regard to the Internet. This time, while by no means a unique idea, it was one that many people would subsequently develop into hugely successful ventures. I did not have the courage of my convictions. There was a chance that it might fail and I took the easier option of staying in fulltime employment. If I thought about it, I could probably come up with at least two or three other examples of good business opportunities that I did not see through to the end.

So what have I learnt from these experiences? Interestingly, lots of people will tell you the answer is "just do it", and they are correct - partially.

Yes - "just do it" in as much as commit to do it, tell people as soon as you can about your idea and throw yourself into it. My point is be brave, but don't be reckless. Be fully committed to your idea, while still having other parallel track activities taking place. Most businesses are built while their founders are also doing something else - and most of the time that "something else" is paying the mortgage.

So my advice (for what it is worth) - do a number of different business activities at the same time, until you find the winner. There is no rule against backing more than one horse in a race.

No comments:

Post a Comment