Many people have good ideas, but not everyone becomes an entrepreneur.
I’m often asked if there is a good way to work out whether your idea is a good one, so I’ve put together a quick guide for those wondering whether to make the plunge.
1. Evaluate your idea
OK, you have an idea. Now what? Good business ideas are a dime a dozen, and they are not all are worth pursuing.
Ask yourself: Have I done the due diligence necessary to take my idea to the next level? Does my idea solve a problem? Meet a need? Touch a nerve? Is it unique? Has it been done before?
Write down your answers, then critique them as thoroughly as you can. The best ideas are those that can withstand heavy critical analysis. If you can’t do this alone — which is almost always the case — then take your idea to someone you trust and ask for their perspective.
Still standing? Good. Let’s move on.
2. Plan for the future
Let’s assume that you have come up with an amazing new product or service that meets all the criteria outlined above. Good for you. Now it’s time to plan.
Ask yourself: What do I need to do to make this idea a reality? Have I developed a business plan? What are my capital needs? How far away am I from having a working prototype? Have I looked for potential partners and investors? What’s my distribution strategy?
At this point, you may want to look for a mentor if you don’t have one already — a seasoned business veteran who can push you in the right direction, point out potential pitfalls and help you to navigate around them. I still rely heavily on others’ advice, though I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than five decades. After all, without the advice I received from some great mentors, Virgin might still just be a little record store somewhere in London.
3. Weigh the risks
You had an idea, and now you have a plan. Great. Let’s talk about you now.
If you are feeling stuck and uncertain on your next steps, ask yourself: Would I rather keep paying my bills or am I ready to live on my savings for a while? Is maintaining my current lifestyle more important than having a fresh start in life?
You see, entrepreneurship is all about taking risks — potentially disruptive and frightening life risks. If your family depends on your income, it is your responsibility to think things through very carefully.
If your answer is still a resounding and emphatic “Yes” after you have weighed all the risks, then you are ready to leap.
4. Take the plunge
If you’re still with me at this point, the next stage should be a simple one: Take the plunge and give it a go. You can start small — but make sure you think big. Many businesses start off in people’s spare time as a side project while they are being developed.
5. Don’t stop believing
The key to success is unwavering commitment and focus. You will make mistakes as you launch your product or service — a ton of them. But keep your eye on the prize and never blink. If you stop believing, your entire enterprise will be called into question.
In my case, when our team started Virgin Atlantic with just one plane and little knowledge of the airline business, we stood alone against established players who were ready to bury us. No one would have faulted us for throwing in the towel and going back to the music business. Yet we saw the enormous potential in disrupting and reinventing airline travel through superior service and innovation. So we kept going, and we are still going strong after three decades. It’s all about drive.
Makinde spends 74 hours with state officials drawing plan to transform agriculture
…IITA, AfDB salute Makinde’s vision
At a retreat in Cotonou, Republic of Benin to chart a path for transforming agriculture, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde set a record in governance, by spending more than 72 hours with his state officials designing an implementation plan for Oyo state agribusiness.
The governor also promised officials of the state that the administration will give agriculture the necessary ‘political will’ to play its role and transform the economic fortunes of the state.
“I want to assure all the participants that Oyo State will provide the political will needed to make the state the agribusiness hub of Nigeria,” Gov Makinde said at the retreat that was facilitated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, 15-19 August.
Gov Makinde pledged to attract more private investments to agriculture by providing an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the state. He said the state would ensure agribusiness-friendly policies that would boost investor confidence.
Since assumption of office on 29 May 2019, Gov Makinde has pledged to transform the narrative of agriculture with the view to making it the pillar of the state’s economic development. The retreat provided an opportunity for the Governor to unveil his vision for agriculture in the state.
Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery commended the governor for demonstrating an uncommon leadership style by participating in all the sessions of the three-day retreat.
“I have never seen such a commitment from a governor… and I believe the document coming out of this retreat will help the state to achieve the vision of an agribusiness hub for Nigeria,” he added.
Dr. Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-Allied division with the African Development Bank said the commitment of the state to agriculture was a step in the right direction.
“Let me also commend you (the governor of Oyo state) for organizing this very important meeting, and participating fully in it to have a vision and an implementation plan for agribusiness in the state,” he added via skype.
Dr. Fregene urged the state government to adopt the agri-business approach to unlock the potential of agriculture in the state.
“For Oyo state to move forward in agriculture, you must treat agriculture as a business,” he explained.
According to the AfDB director, the Bank would be willing to support the state in its quest to transform agriculture.
The retreat had four sessions comprising: Developing a vision for the state in agriculture, identifying the obstacles to the vision, developing strategic actions to deal with the obstacles to the vision, and developing an implementation plan.
Adebowale Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture gave thumbs up to the retreat, adding that recommendations from the retreat would help the state to achieve its vision of becoming an agribusiness hub.
Bola Ige complex wants to reclaim lost glory, as Oyo govt reveals plan
As part of the efforts of the Oyo State Government in creating conducive environment for businesses within the State to thrive, the present administration has revealed its plan in restoring Bola Ige International Business Complex, Gbagi, Ibadan back to international standard as provided in the master plan of the market.
This was contained in a communique issued after a stakeholders’ meeting held recently at the market between the market leaders and the task force committee set up by Governor Seyi Makinde to restructure the business complex.
The Chairman of the task force committee, Sanitarian Olusoji Oyewole in his briefing, assured the market men and women that the State Government remained committed to providing them the basic facilities that would promote the economic activities in the market.
“The Oyo State Government under the leadership of Engineer Seyi Makinde has deemed it fit to ensure that Bola Ige International Business Complex regains its lost age-long status as a major hub of wholesale textile materials, servicing both neighboring, far and distant States in Nigeria,” he said.
“The intention of the administration in setting up this task force is not to witch-hunt anyone in the market but rather towards seeking their cooperation and support for proper waste dumping of refuse, hygienic toilet facilities,
large number of parking lots for convenience and easy access to the market as well as considerable open spaces in construction of approved buildings.”
He, thereafter urged the market community to keep to the environmental laws and town planning regulations of the State, noting that the market stood to benefit if commercial activities were carried out in clean and serene environment.
In his remarks, the representative of the elders’ forum in the market, Chief Adebayo expressed appreciation to the State Government and further pledged support of the market community towards the actualization of restoring the market to international standard.
Pay For Temporary Use of Road Setbacks or We Take Them Over’ – Oyo Govt Warns Business Organizations
Business organizations that built on the mandatory setbacks on major roads in Oyo State for temporary usage have been warned to pay for these spaces or have them taken over by government.
The Executive chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Aremo John Adeleke disclosed this on Thursday, saying the State administration was not happy with the attitude of most organizations using these spaces for failing to meet their financial obligations to the State despite being served many demand notices by the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Adeleke who spoke with Journalists at his office shortly after an enforcement exercise under the Management of Public Space Scheme (MOPS) embarked upon by Oyo State Internal Revenue Services (OYSIRS) and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.
He stated that for Government to be able to provide amenities in the State, organizations and other business owners needed to remit taxes, levies and dues to the rightful place as their civic duties.
He said, “Setbacks in public places are government properties and to use them, there should be payment for temporary use of such places. Most organizations have taken this for granted for so long and that is what necessitated our action at this point.
“The focus of the first phase of the enforcement exercise is on the Banking Industry after that we will move to other sub-sectors. The government will recover the setbacks unless those affected do what is required.
“In the past, series of correspondence, plea and stakeholders meeting with those concerned yielded no response. Also,the second phase will come soonest and will reach others that refused to comply with the payment option.”
While appreciating those that complied,The Executive chairman implored other business owners and individuals with outstanding taxes,levies,charges and fees to pay up so as to forestall drastic step against them.
Among areas covered during the exercise are Total Garden, Agodi and Bodija all within Ibadan metropolis.
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