Dream, Plan and Act

Dream, Plan and Act

There are three important steps to become a successful entrepreneur.These are: Dream, Plan and Act. 

{short description of image}So you have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug too. You have this wonderful business idea in your head and you can just about see the outlines of a large business empire out there in the horizon. The timing seems right—everything in India seems to be favourable. How do you proceed? There are just three important steps…

Firstly, get your motivating factors in place. Entrepreneurship is not for the meek or for the unmotivated. The road to riches and glory is strewn with a lot of energy sapping battles—multiple highs and lows.

Get all the factors that motivate you pointed in the right direction before you start. Do you have the support of your family, your parents/spouse? If not, speak to them, share your dreams. Their emotional support will be vital later when you are going through one of the many crises that face a budding entrepreneur. Next, are you the kind that requires the security of a bank balance at all times? If yes, squirrel away a small pile in a fixed deposit for a rainy day to calm your fears. If you are part of a family— perhaps someone in the family is already getting home a steady income that will take care of the family’s needs freeing you up a bit more to explore your dream. Get yourself a mentor, someone who is already an entrepreneur or get affiliated to entrepreneurial networks like say TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs).

Secondly, make a business plan. A business plan is not just for raising funds. It helps  you structure your thoughts and analyse the business idea in its entirety even if you do not require funds immediately. The business plan would broadly do the following:

  • Analyse the market and business environment you will operate in. You will know the players in the market, the size, share, scalability, etc.
  • Identify the gap in the market that you will fulfil, the value proposition you will provide, what barriers you will create for the competition and adequate validation to support your proposition.
  • Define the sales plan, your product/service delivery model, infrastructure, primary partnerships, customers and finally the team that is going to achieve all this.
  • Analyse the risks to the overall plan and how you will reduce the threat to your business from these risks. These include the business risk (peculiar to your business model), financial risk (e.g. change in cost of capital), technical risk (e.g. new technology entering the market), etc.
  • Layout your financial projections—funding requirements, past revenues (if applicable), cash flows, future projections and valuation expectations if you are seeking funding. Lastly, get started. Do not fall for the malaise of “analysis paralysis” or keep waiting for that elusive angel investor who will fund your dreams in entirety. Start small if need be but get going. You will learn much more by starting off on a microscale rather than by waiting on the sidelines. If there are compelling reasons for you to wait for a while before you start off on your own then switch jobs and work for one of your competitors or at least in the same sector as your business idea.

The three steps to realising your entrepreneurial ambitions are no different from those required to realise any other ambition of yours i.e. dream, plan and act.