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Here’s How I Grew Five Businesses, and Eventually Sold One to a Fortune 500 Company.
Taking Your Dream from an Idea to Reality
How do you execute your idea? If you a natural problem solver, you may be great at doing so. Maybe it is so second nature to you that you never stop to think about what a great skill you have to leverage. It might seem like the marketplace is saturated with so many products and services that you couldn’t possibly have something different to offer.
For many reasons, this line of thinking shouldn’t hold you back from executing your idea. If you see a gap in an industry or think you’ve found a way to improve a good or a service, then you have good reason to try your hand at entrepreneurship. Here are a few things to guide you as you consider leaping into business and execute your idea.
Here are the steps to execute your idea
So you think you have a business idea?
Before investing time, money and resources into your potential business, take some time to get to know the marketplace around your idea. Is the opportunity localized? Do you have direct competitors, or is it more of an adjacent offering? Will you require a brick-and-mortar location or can you operate online? After the last year or so you may also be asking yourself if your idea is pandemic proof. Should some uncontrollable force of nature come along and change consumer behaviors, think about whether or not there is room to pivot your business model.
Other important questions you should be asking yourself that revolve around your business are the who, where and how. Who is your target market? Where do they live? How old are they? How do you get them to know of your business? The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them. Being able to anticipate needs and being in that right place once that need becomes strong enough for a conversion lends itself to a sturdy business model. This will increase your chances of executing your idea.
Determining Your Logistics
Once you feel confident in the value you plan to provide and whom you plan on providing it to, it’s a good idea to get a sense of whatever logistics may be involved. To start you might want to consider important roles and whether they are in-house or outsourced, like an accountant. If you have an innovative product, you might want to consider seeking counsel from a patent lawyer. Or maybe you came up with a great name for your business that you could see yourself building a strong brand around, you may need to hire a trademark attorney.
Another vital consideration is choosing the business structure you’d like to establish. You want to be sure you do what best fits your personal situation to protect yourself and your finances. Whether you feel it’s best to start a sole proprietorship, an LLC or another structure, you want to be sure you’re fully aware of the liabilities that come with each, and what protections they do or don’t extend to you.
At this point, you might also be considering one or more partners, which will also factor into this decision. Besides sharing financial and legal responsibilities with them, you’re going to be making so many decisions with these individuals, so be sure they are people that you are completely comfortable having honest and clear communication with. Executing your idea is close at hand now!
Time to Roll Up Your Sleeves
Oftentimes people get overwhelmed by the idea of starting, but you’re never going to know until you try, so just jump in. Be prepared to work. A good-faith effort will involve a lot of working hours, making sacrifices to your work-life balance at times, and trusting the process. You may doubt your future leadership skills, you may doubt your management skills, but you can grow at anything you put your time and energy into. You don’t need to be perfect or have all the details ironed out to get moving on your dream. You might always feel like it’s too soon to start.
A great example of someone who executed an idea into business and put themselves right into the thick of the hustle is Gopuff’s cofounder Yakir Gola. While still enrolled in college, he and his friend saw a gap in the convenience goods market. Instead of putting off his vision and waiting to finish classes, or letting other factors become an obstacle, he was out there making it happen. Gola was personally delivering orders for the early iteration of his convenience items delivery business. Now the company delivers in cities across the country, with a recent expansion to the west coast.
If you’re willing to work, you too can make it happen for yourself and execute your idea.
Sustain and Scale
Once you’ve gotten started it’s likely you will quickly catch on to the common situations, problems, and areas for improvement. To fully execute your idea, don’t let these things discourage you, but rather see them as the chance to expand yourself and your business. Seeing these as opportunities rather than hindrances is a great way to work on your brand loyalty. Customers will always appreciate you refining their experience for the better. It shows a level of commitment to them that not all other businesses are willing to deliver.
This constant reassessment of your business’s needs might lead to positions needing to be created or consultants hired. Growth can be a tricky pain point for a business because you don’t want to scale too quickly. Hire too many employees but you can’t sustain business growth and you could end up needing to do lay-offs. On the other hand, if you don’t hire enough people, you could fall short on your ability to meet your customers’ needs. It may be best to defer to professionals, so look into business coaches, mentors, and consultants and see which option best suits your needs.
Summary About Executing Your Idea
The best part of taking a chance on yourself and execute your idea is watching something you built become successful and making a difference in your customers’ lives. However, if you’re willing to put in the leg work required through each of these steps, you’re well on your way to giving life to your dream and becoming your own boss. Here’s an article on the do’s and don’ts of business startup.