Entrepreneurship always starts with two things, primarily: passion and problem – that is, if you are passionate enough about disrupting the status quo or want to solve something in a way that positively impacts a group of people, society or region.
This is how I started my own entrepreneurial journey when I had trouble in finding investment plots in Bihar. This is how I founded my venture. All you need are the following eight things:
Any innovation starts with a problem and ends with its solution. Hence, it is rightly said that necessity is the mother of invention. Innovation comes from a close observation of the behaviour and needs of customers. Talk to your target customer and understand their problems. In many cases, your customer will give you many clues regarding the way they want things to be.
Nothing can be greater than imagining yourself as a customer, feeling the pain and then listing down the problems that you are facing (as a customer). Only then can you look for a smart solution, as an innovator.
For example, Phanindra Sama, the co-founder of RedBus, visited several travel agents to buy a bus ticket, but failed to get one. As a result, he could not meet his family during a festival. He was left frustrated, disgruntled and alone in an apartment shared by six flatmates, who had all gone away for the festival. It was only then that he came with the solution to open an integrated ticketing agency. RedBus was later sold to the ibibo Group for ₹800 crore.
Innovation is much like creating something out of nothing. It’s about thinking out of the box and going in an unconventional direction. Initially, your idea might sound silly or impractical to others – obviously because you are thinking of something which has never been thought of before. In such situations, you need to be confident – never doubt your own idea, especially under someone else’s influence.
The riskiest thing is not to take any risk. Don’t be afraid of taking further steps. Build a good network and connect with different people from different industries. Always have their opinion before taking any big decision – it is certain that your network may have people who have experiences as customers. As a result, their advice will significantly reduce chances of failure.
Build a talented and enthusiastic team around yourself, to support, take your ideas to the next level and help you implement them step-by-step. A team with a mix of different mindsets will multiply your ideas and the scale of their implementation.
For this purpose, get a few good, smart people on board, who are ready to take the challenge. Keeping an open and collaborative environment will encourage your team and your target customers (friends, relatives, professional contacts – all of whom can be your potential customers) during the inception phase. It is possible that they may also provide ideas, which, along with your own ideas, may provide a complete solution to the problems.
Be free from everything else but the idea you are working on. This will help you dream, dream more and expand your vision. When you think about something, don’t let anything limit your thoughts. Just get going. Don’t think whether it’s possible or whether your team and you will be able to do it. Freedom in innovation means being selfish. Dream big – and later, you will surely find a way to achieve it.
Dedication and commitment turn dreams into realities. Hence, it is one of the key ingredients for the success of anything. Be focused and dedicated when you are creating something that you think will solve the problems and fulfil your promise.
In the early stages, your innovative products or services might not perform (in the market) as well as you had hoped. Be calm, keep innovating and wait. With due time, your products will find a space in the market – as long as the fire in your heart is still burning!
A version of the post first appeared here.
Image used for representative purposes only.