How can you unleash, or discover for the first time, your Inner Entrepeneur?
Many people at some point or another have had a business idea – a product they’d love to buy for themselves but doesn’t yet exist, a service they’re passionate about … however few will take the next steps of investing time and effort into the idea, and deciding whether to go further into making it a reality.
Do you have the entrepreneurial skill sets required to take that next step? Do you feel you tick enough boxes to take on the risk, and beat the odds of not only launching but making your business venture a profitable success?
If you have previously started a business form scratch, you likely have answers to these questions. However, if this is to be your first start-up, you may be unsure. In this case, before launching yourself fully into the project, consider the following reads and resources to help you determine whether it’s something you should invest in … and to get your inner entrepreneurial mojo juices flowing.
1) To help you validate whether your idea has legs: “The Lean Startup” by Eric Reis
Many current-day entrepreneurs consider this to be the definitive word on helping new startups establish not only whether your idea shows promise, but also how to approach validating your concept in a methodical step-by-step manner. The Lean Startup will help guide you as you test your idea, potentially ‘pivoting’ the original idea to something else, or perhaps even give you the evidence you need to close shop and stop wasting time & resources on a fruitless business venture. Lots of case study example – tons of applicability to non-technology centric organizations as well, including the food industry. Book also available in audiobook format (eg find on Audible – click here).
2) To help you get to know the full entrepreneurial ecosystem at your disposal: www.MeetUp.com
Sometimes all you need when you’re in your initial few steps is an appreciation from others who are grinding through their own startup business, or feedback on your idea form those in the know. In either case, find a local Meet Up in your area! Whether you are simply trying to find a weekly meet up of Startups entrepreneurs over beers (for example – Silicon Beach Sydney), or something quite specific to your needs (for example – Sydney Lean Startup to meet other entrepreneurs assessing their own startup’s prospects for success), you’ll likely find a group that suits your needs. And if not – why not start a Meet Up group of your own and start networking?
3) To get thinking about how you would spread the word about what you’re building: “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers” by Gabriel Weinburg and Justin Mares
This may be the first time you’ll be applying marketing principles to anything you’ve owned yourself – have you thought about how you intend to raise your voice above all the noise, and gain attention (and interest!) for your business? Start putting some thought behind it – if it’s not something you’ll want to do, you’ll either need to rely on a partner to help you out, or pay for external services to spread the word. Drawing on interviews from well known startups and tech business founders, Traction outlines a number of different marketing channels and strategies (some very cheap!) to start getting the word out … and NOW! Book also available in audiobook format (eg find on Audible – click here)
4) To guide you structure to selling your idea to others: “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff
Most of us aren’t natural sellers – however, as an early-stage business you’ll be in a constant position of pitching yourself and your idea, whether it’s winning over suppliers to work with you, employees to join you, business partners or investors to believe in you … or your first bunch of customers to give you their business! Start working on some strategies on how you’ll convince others that you’re the real deal – otherwise, you may need to consider bringing on a business partner to do all the talking while you take an operational role. Book also available in audiobook format (eg. find on Audible – click here).
5) To identify funding sources, and not give away your whole business in the process: KEVIN
The investment landscape in Australia, much like other markets, continues to evolve. Beyond brick and mortar / banking sources, which won’t typically offer much reprieve in the early stages of most startup ventures, you’ll need to get creative. Which means you’ll need to understand the investment landscape – how to identify, attract, then negotiate fairly with the right investment sources. Book title (KEVIN! at home …).
6) To create and manage a partnership: “The Partnership Charter” by David Gage.
Starting a business is very difficult. VERY difficult. The likelihood is you’re more likely to succeed if there’s another partner involved with whom to share responsibilities and risk, and to balance out the skills and strengths the business will need. So many business partnerships get off on the wrong foot – misunderstood inputs and contributions, misalignment in expectations, lack of common goals and priorities in business direction, lack of agreement on how you’ll deal with (inevitable) challenges … Often the best way to get started on the right food is to document all of this in writing from day one so you’re both ‘singing from the same song sheet’. “The Partership Charter” offers one structured way of approaching this process. Every partnership is different, so you may decide you’re flavour of a Charter is different to others, but this is a great read to get your head wrapped around what problems you can pre-empt some with a carefully document partnership agreement. Don’t care to consider these points? Being an entrepreneur may not be for you. Book also available in audiobook format (eg. find out Audible – click here)
7) To avoid making as many common mistakes as others before you: get Flearning!
Click through to our section on “Flearning” – “learning from the FAILURES of others!”. Your venture, no matter how successfull, will indeed have failing elements to it – better to think ahead, and avoid as many of these as possible.
8) To help you consider the regulatory landscape in ANZ: read up on the ANZ Food Regulations
Yes, this is Food Tech Aus. Depending on your start up idea, you may not physically touch food. However, your customers might and your business will still likely need to comply with ANZ food regulations.
For instance: what packaging or labelling requirements will you need to comply with? What food food safety standards will you / your suppliers need to abide by? Will you be required to keep records or certify your teams to operate in your business?
Best find out what your restrictions will be NOW before – you’ll need to keep these in mind from very early on. Check out ANZ Food Regulations here.
Have we missed something which you found really find helpful to kick of your own startup journey? Drop us an email or leave a comment below.