Turn your idea into a start-up
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.
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