I was privileged to attend a crush workshop organized by Enterprise Kingston University London specifically for young entrepreneurs with impressive start up ideas. The course had several mentors and judges to help participants build their start up ideas in preparation for the ‘Bright Ideas’ competition. As a budding entrepreneur, I learned a number of things that will eventually help in my entrepreneurial journey. One of the lessons that fascinated me the most was the entrepreneurship process that I would like to share with you.
For starters, the Entrepreneurship Process basically refers to a set of procedures and methodologies that are followed by entrepreneurs for establishing a new business or venture (w3schools). It has 4 stages but for major emphasis and simplicity I will split them into 5 stages as demonstrated below;
These stages are vital for entrepreneurs that are hoping to develop products or services and onto launching them.
Stage One: Discovery
This is a critical stage which is identifying a problem. An entrepreneur should research and find a problem that is facing society or community to be able to zero down on an effective solution to the problem. Many entrepreneurs fail at this stage hoping that their ideas will work, which is fine until it does not because there is no actual problem that the solution is addressing.
It is also important to do background checks to ascertain if there are solutions already developed on the market.
Stage Two: Opportunity Evaluation
This entails deeper thinking about the idea or solution. Evaluation is mandatory at this stage to check if the solution to the problem is actually realistic or over ambiguous and also if it will solve the existing problem or satisfy a need. However, there are also some other areas that an entrepreneur needs to evaluate in this stage that include;
- Talk to customers: Have the customer’s input in the product development to gauge if the concept will actually resolve the need/problem.
- The market: Research and evaluate if there are any products that already exist in the market.
- The team: This is one of the most important elements to deliver the objective. The right skillset and attitude is vital for the startup to take off.
- The price of product or service: Benchmark on competition in case there are competitors that exist and the price should not be too expensive or too cheap to live money on the table but rather affordable.
Stage Three: Action
At this stage one has a prototype that can be tested by consumers. Taking action is therefore trying to release the prototype or product to potential consumers. In simple terms, it’s more like putting it out there and seeing what happens. It is also a way to get feedback from customers for further improvements which is very vital to product development.
Stage Four and Five: Re-evaluate and Re-test and Launch
After testing the prototype/product on the market, it is vital to evaluate if the product met the underlying need or problem by judging from the customers’ feedback. However, if the product or service requires further improvement it should be done and then re-test.
At this point if the improvements have been done this leads to launching the product or service on the market which is the final stage.