Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So You've Got An Idea

From speaking to friends and other students on campus, I’ve been impressed by the growing number of people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. The days of landing that safe and secure job at IBM are gone as more people are willing to enter the riskier but more exciting arena of entrepreneurship. Yet of all the people I’ve spoken with, only a select few have actually tinkered with starting a business. Still fewer have run a successful enterprise for a sizeable period of time.

I think that one of the hardest things for students who want to become entrepreneurs is moving from a concept or idea towards the creation of a startup. Often, students have a good idea and dream of the possibilities of that idea. But the excitement and passion behind the idea is never utilized to turn the idea into reality. While it’s true that the road to becoming an entrepreneur is generally long and narrow, I’m surprised that more people don’t give it a try.

At eClips, we have a lot of video clips devoted to educating entrepreneurs on what they can do to take that active step towards starting a business. Below is a list of 5 things you can do to get started today.

1) Figure out exactly why you want to become an entrepreneur. Do you dream of becoming rich? Do you want to have the independence of being your own boss? Do you simply enjoy innovating? Get your motives nailed down.

2)Completely map out your idea. What is your product or service? Who is your target market? How will you generate revenue? What is your business model?

3)Surround yourself with people who will add real value to your business. This includes finding a solid management team and an experienced board of advisors. This need not be very formal per say, but having others to help you out will broaden your pool of knowledge and make your chances of success higher.

4)Market your product and service to as many people as possible. This includes current clients, possible clients and even investors. You need not spend a lot of money here if you are creative and resourceful. What really matters is that you get your name out there.

5)Be persistent and take risks. It’s not always going to be easy, and you’re going to have to sacrifice a lot. But if you want to win big; you need to play big.

Hopefully, this is enough to get started. Once again eClips has tons of relevant information, so don’t hesitate to browse the site.

On a separate note, don’t forget that this weekend is Entrepreneruship @ Cornell Celebration. This is a great opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs or just learn something new.

Allen
akm64@cornell.edu

2 comments:

Harold Hill said...

Great article. Thanks for posting that. I want to become an entrepreneur and start off with buying a small business. I know it will be tough, but I'm sure it'll be very rewarding. I'm looking forward to it. I've been reading up on everything, but I haven't been able to find any potential businesses. Any suggestions where to go? Thanks.

Patricia Lowell said...

@Harold -- I suggest networking with local small business owners. They can be valuable resources.

I also highly recommend BizTrader.com. It's an online global marketplace where you can buy, sell, and invest in a small business. There are a lot of great services made available to you, as well as a great selection of businesses to choose from. Check it out and good luck!