How to Find and Start Your Next Entrepreneurial Effort
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
As an entrepreneur, you always have thousands of ideas in your head. Deciding which one to implement is always a challenge. The key to deciding which idea to turn into a reality lies in your interests. Start a business that you will enjoy working on everyday.
A fatal flaw of would-be entrepreneurs is not taking the time to focus on a certain idea. You won’t have the ability or time to work on multiple ideas at once. Though some believe in multitasking, starting multiple businesses at once can turn into a nightmare.
If you’re a millennial entrepreneur, the key part of the puzzle could be finding a business to start in order to avoid getting a job. For Brent Thomas and Jack Pantalena, this lead to the inspiration for their hit game, Millennials -- where, in Russian Roulette style, players try not to get a job (card) in search of something more millennial.
To get started, follow the three insights Thomas and Pantalena used to get their card game off the ground.
1. Gauge audience feedback.
A new idea should rarely be kept a secret. An audience’s reaction is far more valuable than the potential secrecy, especially when you’re in the validation stages of figuring out which one of your ideas to work on.
Some key questions to think about when gauging an audience include:
- How do they respond when first told about your idea?
- Are they asking questions or trying to push the conversation towards a new topic?
- Do they have follow-up questions or simply wish you well on your endeavor?
Any audience can be a potential customer, and their reaction can be used to help narrow your focus on one project or another.
If you’ve gotten a solid amount of interest for an idea, it’s time to make a prototype. A prototype is a minimum viable representation of what your product will do. For Millennials (the game), Thomas talks about putting together the first prototype deck with Google images, paper and duct tape. Though the cards they made were a very rough draft, the sample cards were able to be played and shown to friends and family, which encouraged them to push forward with the idea after seeing their reactions.
2. Become a "jack of all trades."
Having a primary skill like programming, marketing or sales is part of an entrepreneur’s foundation. These are the skills that led all of us to be entrepreneurs, but having just one skill isn’t enough to succeed.
When starting your project, you need to be willing to get hands on with your idea to move it in the right direction. Thanks to resources like Youtube and others available on the internet, the ability to learn every aspect of your next project is possible. From website design to marketing, manufacturing and even shipping, entrepreneurs should be willing to tackle any obstacle their company faces.
3. Don’t let competition scare you.
Just because an idea already exists, doesn't mean it has been executed properly. Every time you become frustrated with a product, piece of technology or lack thereof, you should see it as an opportunity for you to become an entrepreneur.
It is important to learn more about the competition and be able to articulate why your company will be superior. Focus on an aspect that your company will dominate. This could be customer service, ease of access or user experience. As an example, GigTown, a startup that enables people to book local musicians in a Uber like approach, focuses on creating an unbeatable user experience.
Though your head is probably full of ideas, real entrepreneurs know how to take these steps, sort through, and find the ones they want to work on. Not all ideas are equal, and the scalability of your startup can be determined at an early stage. If you have an idea for a business, it’s time to take the steps to make it a startup!