By Michael S. Melfi JD, MBA
We have all heard the old saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While this could be a great mantra for the old stereo you have in the garage, it is not the philosophy for creating success as an entrepreneur. If anything, you want to break it fast and break it often and pivot repeatedly until you have a viable product.
As an entrepreneur, there is one thing that will be limited, and it is your resources – time, money, energy, free labor, et cetera. Your ability to be effective and efficient in your operations, testing, and decision process is key to your success. Therefore it will be important to have a constant drive to create a viable product or service.
You will know you have a viable product based on four things:
(1) You have determined you have a product or service that solves a problem
(2) That product or service has value to a target audience
(3) You can create it for less money than you can sell it for and
(4) There are processes and systems that allow for duplication and scalability.
Once you have these items in place, you have a viable entrepreneurial organization that can create success, and will attract team members and plenty of funding for expansion and growth.
This journey is not an overnight process, rather it is a series of steps that start with a proper mindset – the willingness to deal with uncertainty is important aspect of this process. It will be necessary to ask difficult questions, seek guidance and ultimately make choices based on all available information.
The next step is found in the desire to gain business knowledge. It is necessary to discover where value can be created for customers. It is through this education process that an entrepreneur gains the insight and wisdom to create strategies for growth and success. Additionally, building a business strategy based on the knowledge you have will create a plan for you and your team to execute on, based on the team’s capabilities.
One of the keys to your success will be the ability to track and measure various aspects of the business – these results can act as a measuring stick of success as you move towards outcomes. Finally, as part of growth of any business is the ability to successfully execute on business development – this can include increased sales, successful fundraising and team member acquisition.
One of the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for this process is doing a simple exercise – block out 15 minutes and put yourself in an uninterrupted environment. Take the time to list all the reasons why your idea or business will not fail. Be brutally honest and take the time to write out all the answers. At the end of this exercise, you will have a list of all the areas for growth and development of you, your team and the organization. This will be you looking at how your company can be broken, and how you can plan to face the challenges that may come your way.
As you prepare to take your next steps, ask yourself what can you do better, what can you do bigger, what can you do different and what can you break?
Michael Melfi is an IP attorney, entrepreneur coach, investor, media personality and four-time author. Michael has a dynamic background that allows him to provide insightful legal services, while creating business development strategies for funding and growth. He is author of “The Simple Secrets of Intellectual Property“, “The Simple Secrets of Being an Entrepreneur“, “The Simple Secrets of Social Media“, and “The Simple Secrets of Crowdfunding“.