Entrepreneurship in action

“At its core, entrepreneurship is not an ability but a life decision,” says Rob Stokes, Chairman of the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business.

Stokes is also the founder of digital agency Quirk, which was later acquired by the global group Mirum. “I love the adventure of finding and growing new business opportunities and I wouldn't want to live any other life.”

He explains that successful entrepreneurs know how to leverage their own strengths and weaknesses through hard work, and says the world of entrepreneurship is open to anyone who is motivated to succeed.

However, according to Stokes many people miss their opportunity due to a “fixed mindset which drives a deep-rooted fear of failure.”

But for those brave enough to take up the challenge, entrepreneurship can be a profitable and meaningful career path.

Is my idea feasible?

Perhaps one of the biggest deterrents to going it alone is the pressure of developing a viable idea. Creative ideas come to everyone, but how do you know if your idea can be developed into a lucrative business?

Stokes presents three ways to test your idea. Each step aims to help you determine the feasibility of your idea with increasing levels of effort and accuracy.

Step 1: Put it on paper

Write out your idea in a business plan and then present it to a few people.

If it doesn't make commercial sense in the beginning stages, it's probably not feasible.

Step 2: Create a scenario

The next approach is to scenario test your idea and its underlying commercial assumptions.

Looking at how revenues and costs change across market situations will quickly tell you what your business looks like in a high, middle and low road scenario.

In theory a business should be able to make a profit even under very conservative assumptions. A Monte Carlo simulation is a useful, but complex, tool for doing this type of analysis.

Step 3: Start to market

After all is said and done the only real answer to the feasibility question is to get your product or service in front of customers.

At that point all assumptions fall away and the hard truth stares you in the face.

This step is beneficial because you can use customer feedback to fine tune the product offering and business model in an ongoing and agile way to ensure you get beyond feasible, to successful.

For more insights and learning the business and people skills you need to transform your ‘idea’ into a ‘successful business’, join the Entrepreneurship In Action online course offered by Red & Yellow.

By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing