Innovating Through Artistry

The Value of Research

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing on November 13, 2007 at 4:31 am

So you have a great idea and your passionate about turning it into a business. While focusing on the parts of the venture you are sure that will work might be very enticing to do, it is even more important that you equally work on the parts that can set you back.

Most often it is our passion that lures us into beginning the venture so it is easy for us to not want to focus on the hurdles. Or sometimes all we can see are the hurdles and it stops us from focusing on what we passionately see as opportunity.

However, the best way to begin to see if your concept can really work, is to identify a list, in order of importance to your venture, of the most likely obstacles you will face in your start-up phase or that you currently are routinely encountering in your current venture. Once you have identified that list, turn them into a list of open-ended questions to test your theories and turn your hurdles into manageable bite-size questions.

The next step is to find an expert who can educate you about each obstacle. It is likely this person may be someone you have identified as a potential customer or source of revenue. However, don’t call them with the intention of pitching your concept or making a sale to them. Instead contact that person and ask for an informational interview about the subject area you need to understand. Make it clear to them that you are asking for a defined period of time (15 minutes, an hour or over coffee or lunch) to help you understand what you have identified as potential questions you need answers to help your start-up venture begin. Let them know you have identified them as someone who’s help would be meaningful to you because of their position, knowledge, degree etc.

If the people you identify are either unwilling to take the time to speak to you, or refuse to answer questions you really need answered, keep looking until you find someone who will. Once you have all of the information you need from those conversations, you may likely add an unexpected arm or leg to your venture because, through their answers, you will find new ways to begin to overcome the pitfalls you identified.

Don’t be afraid of things that seem impossible to overcome at first. Instead, find a way to embrace them and work with them to build or integrate your business concept on. While it is possible they might change the lens you see your original idea in, it is unlikely to not also offer many new ways to move inside the concepts, ideas and passions you embrace.

It is as important to know intimately the pitfalls of your venture as well as you see and know how to build on the opportunities.

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