We recently watched an episode where Holmes reveals his secret to solving a crime. We were struck at his outline – it’s the track a will-be entrepreneur should follow to start a business.
Of course, solving a crime is a backwards-looking exercise. Starting a business requires you to look forward. So other than a change in tense, here are Sherlock Holmes’ three elementary steps to starting a business:
Step 1: Imagine what might happen
You must see the invisible when you start a business. It’s part science, part art.
Picture what might happen. Successful entrepreneurs know they can’t predict what will happen.
As you create the image of your start-up, write it down.
- What are you selling?
- How are you selling it?
- Who is buying it?
- How will you deliver it?
- How will you measure success?
To borrow from Holmes, put an “exactly” in front of each question. This isn’t even close to being an exhaustive list of questions, but you get the idea.
We remember a mentor telling us that the most successful entrepreneurs could clearly picture what their business would look like. You should be able to do the same.
And don’t just picture one scenario. Think about what could happen to derail you. How would you respond? You’ll be better prepared to deal with alternative scenarios if they materialize by imagining them in advance.
Also picture the amount of time and money it will take to reach profitability. Hint: Plan on it taking at least two to three times as long and costing at least two to three times as much as you think. Make sure your vision is realistic.
Step 2: Act upon your supposition
It’s fun to imagine. Acting is where things get difficult.
At launch, every start-up is nothing more than a hypothesis. It’s a theory about a product and a market.
You’ll learn a lot about your product, your market, your people and yourself when you launch. In fact, it’s where the learning really begins.
You may think you know before you launch, but remember it’s all hypothetical. You launch to find out what’s real.
Step 3: Find yourself justified (or not)
As you discover reality, your hypothesis may prove to be correct. Congratulations! Keep pushing.
More likely, you will find that you missed the mark in part or in whole. Adapt.
You may tweak what you imagined. Or you may discover a completely different business. In either case, you win by getting started.
Sherlock Holmes had an advantage over entrepreneurs. His job was to go back in time to discover what happened.
Entrepreneurs must start from scratch to create their future. The key is to get started. It leads to BIGG success!
Are you thinking about starting a business? Maybe we can help.
We hope you can detect how thankful we are that you checked in with us today.
Please join us tomorrow when we’ll talk about the three influencers of career success. Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!
Image in this post from linder6580