In the weekend Entrepreneurship class I teach for a local university, I see dozens of aspiring business owners with tons of great ideas for starting a business. In my role as a Entrepreneur Consultant, my company sees the few that ever get from “idea” to “plan” to “execution.” Out of dozens of successful clients, four having reached the Inc.500 so far, I find a common theme. Successful startups learn 1) leadership skills and 2) process-“how to fail fast.” Let me explain. Among numerous investors speaking on the topic, the most important thing they look for before forking out money is the people component. They judge an “A-Team” and more important than a great product or service idea. One investor said to me, “I’d rather invest in an ‘A’ team with a ‘C’ idea than an ‘A’ idea with a ‘C’ team.” That team, usually under five people to start with, must demonstrate leadership and critical thinking skills. Part of those skills bring me to number two—‘how to fail fast’. Best practices among business incubators and business schools I affiliate with suggest mastering a process of creating a business hypothesis, testing it on real customers, then adjusting the hypothesis, and testing again. This process must happen over and over again until you “nail the pain” of your target customer. And, you must move fast on a minimal budget. Once the pain is nailed, you must nail the business model to address the pain and so on. It is these two areas of study, leadership and process that seem to be the common thread to success.
Are we famous entrepreneurs? No, we are the ones who make them famous!
LINK to Photo: http://pilmerpr.com/pilmer_professional_team/ (higher res available upon request)Share