Turn your idea into a start-up

The Citizen (KZN) - - Buy in Bulk -

The key dif­fer­ence be­tween an en­trepreneur and some­one who’s des­tined to have a boss for the rest of their ca­reer is the abil­ity to take an idea and ac­tion it. Char­maine Lam­bert, from Absa in­no­va­tion lab WorkInProg­ress, says bring­ing an idea to life can be a chal­leng­ing, of­ten frus­trat­ing process.

“The start-up stage can yield in­cred­i­ble per­sonal and pro­fes­sional re­sults – but with the ju­bi­la­tion comes the strug­gle.

“We see the ups and downs daily, but the re­as­sur­ing thing is that none of our mem­bers would have it any other way!”

Get an idea out of the start­ing blocks: Re­search

Take the time to con­duct re­search – anec­do­tal, web-based or sur­vey -based.

Ad­di­tion­ally, un­der­stand the mar­ket, your com­peti­tors and the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties your com­pany will face.

Look out for in­for­ma­tion on ven­tures sim­i­lar to yours that failed and use those lessons to in­form your process.

Se­cure your in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (IP)

If the idea is tech­nol­ogy-based, pro­tect the value you’ve cre­ated around an idea, brand or prod­uct. The Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion ad­min­is­ter the fol­low­ing IP do­mains in SA: trade­marks, patents, de­signs and copy­right (films only).

De­fine your iden­tity

Iden­tity refers not only to your logo, but also the way you de­scribe your com­pany, the copy on your web­site, your vi­sion, your mis­sion and your com­pany cul­ture.

Write a busi­ness plan

Ar­tic­u­lat­ing your idea is some­times hard. A busi­ness plan sets out your com­pany ob­jec­tives and de­fines the strate­gies for achieving them. A busi­ness plan is re­quested by banks and in­vestors when you ap­ply for fund­ing or sup­port, so ar­tic­u­late your idea well.

Choose a workspace

The en­vi­ron­ment you choose to op­er­ate in will have a di­rect im­pact on your suc­cess.

Op­er­at­ing in a vac­uum is not ad­vis­able in the early days of a busi­ness.

Sur­round your­self with peo­ple in sim­i­lar stages of de­vel­op­ment and lever­age off their cre­ativ­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Se­cure cap­i­tal

In many cases, even great ideas can fail due to the lack of fi­nan­cial back­ing. In the search for fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment, you could join an ac­cel­er­a­tor – a pro­gramme that as­sists with a net­work, a men­tor and some­times a small ini­tial in­vest­ment.

Al­ter­na­tively, look for an an­gel in­vestor net­work or ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vestors that of­fer fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment to fa­cil­i­tate growth.

Ide­ally you’d want to se­cure an in­vestor that has ex­pe­ri­ence in your cat­e­gory or sec­tor, so you can draw on their ad­vice and ex­pe­ri­ence. – Citizen re­porter

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