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You don't know what you don't know

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Fred132, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Fred132

    Fred132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    I want to start my first post by pointing out the obvious.
    That is that there is unlikely to be any billionaires hanging around the UK business forums, or anybody that has seriously 'made it', and having had the experience of overcoming most of the major hurdles that most of us still feel held back by.

    But here goes...

    Like probably everybody on this forum, I've independently had several good ideas.

    I know what some of you are thinking
    "ahhh, but have you written a 126 page business plan?"
    or
    "ahh, but have you spent several years researching the market?"

    No, but having *independently* came up with ideas, I have quickly done searches, and found that *some* of my ideas already exist in various guises and are generating revenue in the billions.

    I'm not blowing my own trumpet, but I did come up with these ideas independently.

    Now for my point...

    Whether I find out that the ideas exist already or not, I find myself in that age old situation that most of you will relate to:
    An idea I feel worth pursuing, but not the skill to built it myself nor the money to pay somebody to build it for me.

    I'd like to evoke a serious conversation about this problem.
    This is probably the toughest challenge stifling entrepreneurial creativity there is, as well as the most common.

    Can resourcefulness overcome both a lack of skill in a particular area as well as lack of funds?
    I'm sure plenty of others relate to this, does anyone have anything real to offer how they overcame it - not theoretical, but real experience?
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: Fred132 Member since: Jul 12, 2018
    #1
  2. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,242 503
    Of course... a resourceful person will learn the skills they lack. Or they will put in place a plan to earn the money they need to start their business (cancel their cable TV, stop going out, get a second job, convince friends and family to loan them money). Alternatively they might bootstrap the idea.... simplifying their idea so that it can be created with the resources they have... a V0.9 if you will. Sure it won't be as good as they first envisioned but at least it exists and over time can be built up until you reach your original goal. Alternatively if you have some assets and/or a proven track record of success you might be able to swap a chunk of equity in exchange for some start up funding (see You wont get funding because).

    Hopefully that answers your question - unless of course your real question was actually "where do I find the guy with the magic money bag who is just sitting around waiting for a chance to make my idea for me".
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
    #2
  3. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    28,706 8,490
    I disagree. There are a number of members who have seriously 'made it' and overcome major hurdles. They may not be billionaires but not everyone is driven by financial greed.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #3
  4. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    Since you've mentioned the term 'entrepreneur', perhaps we should focus on what a real entrepreneur is. These days it is too often used to describe anyone who owns a business, though 95% of small businesses are simply job-replacements (nothing wrong with that from the individual's point of view, but it's not truly entrepreneurial).

    In my view - and from experience of dealing with a few, the key skills of a genuine entrepreneur are:

    - The ability to spot a genuine business opportunity.
    - Creating solid, realistic growth strategies
    - Turning ideas into reality
    - Recruiting / outsourcing teams with the relevant skills.

    James Dyson is a rare beast indeed who seems to have the ability to both have ideas and build solid businesses around them.

    As anyone will tell you, ideas are 10 a penny - the ability to turn ideas into businesses is key - and the skillsets are very different.

    You mentioned a 126-page business plan. Not necessary - often the too-large, too-glossy business plan identifies a chancer or dreamer. On the other hand a concise, meaningful business plan -one that focuses on running/building the business rather than banging on about the idea - is absolutely critical.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #4
  5. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    4,575 1,288
    Nowadays it seem to be used as an alternative word for self employed.

    I own my own successful business but would never in a million years describe myself as an entrepreneur because I'm not
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #5
  6. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    I suspect like me you've met several true entrepreneurs who would never describe themselves as such, and numerous dreamers who insist on using it?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #6
  7. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    3,230 1,047
    Exactly the most important thing to me is that I do what I want and it is as simples as that . If I was a banker on Canary Warf making 10 mil a year I would be rich but I don't think I would be happier With a posh bank telling me where I have to be and what I have to do !

    Don't just assume that this site lacks very rich people and smart investors It has only been the later years in my membership on here That I have learnt there are some very serious people I wont say who due to the new Data Protection rules :)but all I can say if your looking for investment watch yourself :):)

    MPs and the media use this site as a point of refence Don't assume that this is some site full of shop keepers and window cleaners . This place is more important than it looks
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #7
  8. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    Does that mean I should get dressed?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #8
  9. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    3,230 1,047
    If I have just learnt that you have been conversing with us without any togs on I will be very P*****d off :eek::eek::):)
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #9
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    28,706 8,490
    Depends on what dress you plan to wear.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    I have some clothes on; just not mine, if you get my drift;)
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #11
  12. Fred132

    Fred132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    With respect, never mind what you think the difference is between an entrepreneur and somebody who is self-employed, lets bring the thread back on topic.

    I've been reading these forums for a long time before I registered as a user and there is a tendency for good questions to quickly go off topic and not be addressed, and descend into conversations between a few participants who decide to go down their own path.

    The age old situation of having an idea you feel worth pursuing, but neither the skill to built it yourself nor the money to pay somebody to build it for you.

    Yes you can learn to program, if your idea is computer based.
    Down side is that if your idea is quite complicated and you have no programming knowledge at all, that could literally take many years, potentially over a decade by the time you're up to the standard you need to be.

    You could get a second job or earn side income somehow (i.e. start another business to fund the start-up of this one).
    This is probably more viable and time effective than learning the skills yourself.
    The down side of this is there are only 24 hours in a day and if an employed job is what you're going for don't expect to earn the £50,000+ you'll likely need any time quickly to pay somebody to do the programming and design work.

    Anybody else?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Fred132 Member since: Jul 12, 2018
    #12
  13. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    Save for a little diversion the thread is on topic

    Whilst scientists, engineers and dreamers are pouring time and money into perfecting their product or idea, an entrepreneur will take the germ of an idea and turn it into a functioning business. Better still, they will take an existing idea and turn it into a better business.

    They will use the energy from that business to raise funding and recruit the skills to develop the product and the business

    The business always takes precedence over the idea
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #13
  14. Fred132

    Fred132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    Great!

    Also mildly elegant I suppose.

    But when it comes to having a great idea that one feels worth pursuing, but neither the funds nor the skills to pursue it, what's your advice to me or anybody else reading this now or in the future?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Fred132 Member since: Jul 12, 2018
    #14
  15. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    28,706 8,490
    Work like stink until you have the funds. You could have a full time job, work in a bar in the evenings and cut lawns at the weekends. Sell all the stuff in your house you don't need, don't take holidays and get rid of Sky.

    If you are hungry for success you will find the money. With the money you then pay someone with the skills you are lacking.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,844 491
    My I’m so flattered.

    My advice would be

    1 don’t be patronising

    2. Think about the business and the market before you fall in love with the idea
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2018
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #16
  17. Pish_Pash

    Pish_Pash UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,233 549
    I lost my job (of 20yrs) about 6 years ago & couldn't find another (wrong age for the genre I was in). So I figured if nobody else would employ me (their loss!), then I will.

    Anyway, I had an idea for a small guitar 'widget'....but to make the widget, I needed to learn some new skills (I had to learn how to build a CNC machine (using old bits of scrap!), learn how to make PCBs with it (prototyping), I also had to learn how to code PIC chips - all from scratch).

    I can tell you there's nothing quite like having no job, large household bills to pay & a family to look after to drive you on.

    In short, I did make my widget (inhouse - in my loft actually)...floated it on Ebay (to test the market)...my widget sold (yay), but as is often the case...when you set out on a journey, it's not necessarily the end destination that's the most interesting/lucrative - along my journey I set off on a tangent (which would never have happened if I'd not been focused on making my widget), which proved to be a better option for me.

    I will come back to my guitar widget when I near retirement - it will be a fun sideline that will stop me vegetating on the sofa.

    So in answer to your question...yes resourcelfulness *will* get you there...but I reckon that most people aren't sufficiently driven *unless* they really, REALLY need to - piss your boss off, that'll do it ;-)
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Pish_Pash Member since: Feb 1, 2013
    #17
  18. Fred132

    Fred132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    That's a great story :)

    So in your case you learned the technical skills needed to overcome to obstacles to building your ideas.

    Great!
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Fred132 Member since: Jul 12, 2018
    #18
  19. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    3,230 1,047
    If you have an idea and you don't have the skills and you don't have the funding and you are probably lacking development and launch expertise . Then it is not really an idea It is somebodies pipe dream .
    The success does not come because someone had a dream it is the ones who take the risk that build the success and this is done with very hard work and more often than not a lot of your own money .
    You might get some funding but those funding will want to see something more than just an idea
    It is always made to look far easier than it really is
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #19
  20. Fred132

    Fred132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    "It's is always made to look far easier than it really is".

    Never truer words spoken.

    This thread is essentially about the most common barrier stifling entrepreneurial creativity: having an idea but neither the skills nor the funds to take practical steps to pursue it.

    In recent years there has been a rise in the level of interest in starting businesses, which I think is in part due to TV programmes like Dragons Den and the Apprentice, and due to people not being happy in employment.

    But when we hear stories of the well known business owners, it doesn't really go into the details of how they overcame the difficulties they faces.
    Anybody would think they had piles of cash to get them started, which is rarely the case.

    How common barriers are overcame never seem to be discussed.

    These days there is crowdfunding and sites like freelancer where it is possible to build a minimum viable product.
    Worth pointing out, no longer is major financing just the playground of highstreet banks or VC firms.

    Actually I may be in the process of offering one possible solution to my own question:
    Do some work yourself if possible to create an MVP, you can even create a website for free using 123reg, Wix, etc.
    Use sites like freelancer for cost effective help where you lack skills.
    Create the MVP and test the idea.
    If the product or service has legs, create a following and usecrowdfinding to raise money to develop the product further.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Fred132 Member since: Jul 12, 2018
    #20