So you want to be an entrepreneur?
Now you might say that being an accountant is boring, well I would argue otherwise. As an accountant I get to work with some of the brightest and innovative entrepreneurs and trust me, it is very inspiring and exciting.
Right now is a great time for budding entrepreneurs. Consumers and businesses are receptive to new technologies that make their life easier and are more cost effective. And it’s the entrepreneurs who are coming up with genuinely valuable products and services that can penetrate the market quickly and are more likely to succeed.
From what I see there is great opportunity in particular for new web-based businesses. In most cases there are relatively lower costs and less time associated with getting a website up and running which then allows you to get traction or runs on the board much faster. It’s in this sector that I see some of the most creative and impressive ideas.
Let me give you an example, I work with a company called Viocorp. Set up in 2002 they are known as one of the leading online broadcasters in Australia. Viocorp is a great entrepreneurial example of how to take an innovative idea and transform it into a successful business. They began with making internet communications simple by offering an online video content management product. This idea has exploded and they now offer a whole range of online video and audio solutions and work with a swag of major international companies like AMP, ING and Tourism Australia both in Australia and overseas. Among all of this success they continue being innovative as they know their market demands it.
That is an example of success, but there are always bumps along the road, and I think two key phases where many entrepreneurs go astray. Firstly in the product development phase where they can spend too long refining their offering only to find out that it’s not relevant anymore or someone else has beaten them to the punch. Secondly in the commercialization phase where they spend too much money trying to grow the business and bled the company dry.
There’s no special formula that will guarantee you success. It’s mostly a determined belief in your product that will see you through. However, my three tips for entrepreneurs are:
- Be realistic. It takes most businesses five years to gain any momentum and start earning profits. Are you and your family prepared for the long haul
- Do some research before jumping in. You need to understand if your product is going to be relevant to the market. I’ve seen many good ideas fall over because the market just didn’t accept it
- Surround yourself with advisors to advise and mentor you to help you realize your goals.