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Starting A New Venture

Many people are considering starting a new venture.  Each of them will go through a predictable set of steps to find the venture that is best for them.  Starting a new company can be daunting and the needs of the entrepreneur will change over time.  Below are the typical steps an entrepreneur goes through when starting a new venture.

  • “I’m Done!” – the desire to start a new company is often precipitated by an event that makes it clear the current venture is no longer of interest.  This event could be of their choosing, or could be caused by an external force such as the economy, their boss, their spouse, or any number of other factors.
  • “What do I do now?” – even though you know you don’t want to continue what you are doing, you are probably not sure what you want to do next.  During this time of uncertainty, the most important thing is to have the support of your family, friends, mentors, and past co-workers.  They cannot decide what your next venture will be, but they do provide the encouragement for you to continue.
  • “I can do anything!” – once an entrepreneur starts to consider ideas there is often a flood of potential ventures to select.  They are literally drowning in ideas.  At this point in the process what is needed is someone to help them focus on the most promising idea.  This assistance focusing is often found through trial and error until you find the person that helps keep you on track.  It may not be someone you currently know.  You will need an unbiased viewpoint to determine which idea could work.
  • “This idea might work” – during this phase of starting a new venture you have picked the idea with the most promise, and are ready for the next steps.  Now all you have to do is prove your business model can succeed.  This requires a combination of detailed analysis, prototyping, selling, and building a team.
  • “It works!” – now that the idea is proven, you need to add the structure to help it scale and grow successfully.  Too much structure will overwhelm the business and too little will allow the business to wander off course.  This is a delicate balance requiring the ability to identify and build structures which can grow with the business without having to be replaced and rebuilt.  After all, money is scarce!
  • “I’m Done!” – at some point you will be finished with this business also.  It could be a result of being bought or you may have developed a new passion for another idea.  You should realize this from the beginning and always have your ”exit strategy” defined in advance.  You may never execute the exit strategy as planned, but having it will provide a framework for many of the decisions you will make along the way.

There is no one right or wrong way to start a new venture.  What is important is that you leverage the skills and capabilities of others as well as your own.  As long as there is forward progress and your ideas are vetted quickly you will succeed with the cycle of starting a new venture.  Good Luck!