Most angel investors and startup accelerators are always looking for that great and killer idea that could disrupt the market or industry to support or fund. The good news for you is that you don’t need their permission to start your new project. There are now hundreds of free startup resources to help you launch a business with little or no money at all.
The beta republic
But the truth of the matter is that, you don’t need a great idea to start a business. The idea could change and the business model will evolve. Every great business you see now has evolved over time. Some were in beta for years, others are still in beta.
Gmail stayed in a five-year beta phase. Gmail was a project started by Google developer Paul Buchheit years before it was announced to the public. Initially it was available only internally as an email client for Google employees.
Guess what, it was started by a developer as a side project. It’s about time you paid attention to your side projects if you really believe in it.
Just solve a real problem
Most successful entrepreneurs don’t start with a great idea but with a very simple idea that solve a real problem. While they are working on their simple ideas, they begin to understand the market and notice clues that can make the idea or product better. They then adopt and change along the way to accommodate the dynamics of the industry.
You can start with a simple action plan
The most important thing at the beginning is to have a workable business plan (it does not necessary need to be a 40-page document) that will drive customer adoption, profitability, and a high enough barrier to entry to separate you from a would-be follower or competitor.
If you need VC funding, work on your numbers
If you are starting a company that will require funding from VCs, it becomes a different story. You’ll need an idea, plan and a model that shows a demand for your product and how you intend to solve that problem.
And of course the numbers to prove that it will be profitable. Be prepared for rejections, it’s part of the process. Most successful entrepreneurs have probably approached several angel investors and applied for admission to lots of accelerators.
Don’t waste time, get on with it!
Most productive entrepreneurs who believe in their ideas waste no time when they have validated the idea and believe it has potential. The best part of this is that you can take the idea, make a product out of it, register customers(or even paying clients) and then approach investors if you have to.
Investors invest in people
For most investors, “management” is a priority when considering to invest in a startup. If an investor believes in the ability of the management team to actually implement/execute against a well-prepared and thought out business plan, they are more likely to commit funds to the company. Execution is key to every business, hence the need for a great team.
Don’t quit before you start!
The bottom line is that with or without funding, passion and personal commitment to the idea are crucial to the success of every startup. If you strongly believe in what you are pursuing, give it your maximum attention, don’t quit on yourself, don;t stand in your own way but take calculated steps each day to get you closer to your goal.
Work on a problem you have
Why is it so important to work on a problem you have? Among other things, it ensures the problem really exists. It sounds obvious to say you should only work on problems that exist. And yet by far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.–Paul Graham
Born out of necessity
There is nothing more fulfilling than solving your own problem and making a business out of it. Ask yourself if you truly want what you want to build, can you build it or how soon can you find a smart developer to put it together for you. If it’s worth doing and you have confirmed it from other sources, you can go ahead and try it.