Turning your bright ideas into a successful business can be a challenge, but a little help from your friends and the right insider tips can help your enterprise skyrocket.
Creativity is at an all-time high, with the possibilities to exchange ideas and collaborate endless.
Founders Market Chief Marketing Officer and Bachelor of Business graduate Izaac Somers says he developed a habit for turning static ideas into exciting projects, which is what he does for Founders Market, a platform connecting student entrepreneurs.
After meeting many aspiring Zuckerbergs, Somers has some important advice for students hoping to turn their dorm room ideas into successful businesses.
1. Form a team with complementary skills, especially someone with a technology background.
To give your idea the best possible chance of surviving and transforming it into a successful business, you need to form a team. A team creates an invaluable support network, which you’re going to need if you want to start a business. Furthermore, you must ensure your founding team is made up of individuals with complementary skills and backgrounds. If you’re focusing on a web platform or mobile applications you must have a programmer as a member. This helps to remove the initial financial barrier in getting your website or app off the ground and ultimately can be the difference between your idea flourishing or slipping into the abyss.
2. Give an equal share of the pie to your initial team members.
One mistake young student entrepreneurs can make is to be too precious with their ideas. They feel as though because they came up with it, they deserve more equity than their other founding members. This mentality is short-sighted. The reality is that starting a business involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears, especially when being built alongside studying. Having an equitable distribution of shares creates an atmosphere of equality in the team culture. This really helps to motivate you at 3am when you’re in a hotel practicing your pitch for the hundredth time for a competition the next day.
3. Enter into as many entrepreneurial competitions as possible.
Competitions are great for three main reasons:
They create signposts for you to work towards. Having deadlines is important when creating a business. However, in the early days it may be hard to get motivated as a team. Entering into competitions, such as the RMIT Business Plan Competition, which has three rounds, gives you three potential signposts to work towards, which creates structure and incentive to get work done, to get you into your rhythm.Competitions help to validate your idea, or at the very least highlight that maybe you need to focus your efforts on another venture.Finally, the people you meet, whether it be fellow competitors or the industry experts help you to form a business network, which gives your business venture the greatest chance of succeeding.
4. Write a business plan.
Writing a business plan is a great exercise for any young entrepreneur. It forces you to really pull your idea and market opportunity apart. It may seem time consuming at first glance but you find it becomes a great document that you’re constantly updating and drawing from, especially when entering into start-up competitions.
5. Have a passion for creativity.
Creating a business involves a lot of time and energy, but is undoubtedly rewarding. Having a passion for creating and building things really helps to support you through the start-up journey. However, this passion can grow with time and there are significant support networks out there now that can help you get started, Founders Market being one of them. So if you have a business idea, start the journey with Founders Market, by connecting with other student entrepreneurs at RMIT and across Melbourne to transform that idea into reality.