What is stopping people from starting a business when they have a good idea?
We all have ideas, skills, knowledge, and experiences learned throughout our lives. We all have thought about our ideas and what we can do with them. From the things we see, hear, and buy, we think about how can we make them better or how we can make something completely new. But what stops people from doing something about it?
I think most of the time its the initial investment, capital to set up the business. And most of the time, the ideas seems easy and when it comes of the implementation there are some unavoidable problems/tactics that didn't work out and things remain undone.
Though the reasons may vary person to person. These are the most common one.
I think, there are many things that can stop people from realizing their ideas like lack of money, lack of knowledge or skills, life circumstances, fear and lack of initiative.
Fear of failure and lack of self-confidence. I've started my 4th business a few months ago (in 18 years, all businesses succeeded to some level), I always tell my friends to start their own business especially to the ones who whine about their income. But after a while, I realised that most people fear that they will fail, they accept failure without even considering and do not start a business at all. Even if they have decent and profitable ideas.
The thing is, Ideas are worth nothing If you do not have the willpower to bring your ideas to reality.
Access to capital is one area that leads to concerns as Jeff addresses----Fear of not having a steady income is a deterrent as Jeff also discusses...
Many do not want to do a business plan or go to someone like a Score Counselor who helps people start and manage small businesses-----If you have an idea try it on a small test fence scale and then go a step further..... If it burns and you wish to try it, by all means try it, but make sure you have a business plan and by all means market, sell, sell and market ball the time...
I regularly encounter individuals with the next “great business idea,” very few have conducted any quantified research into whether or not their scheme makes genuine commercial sense. Enthusiasm of course is critical to anyone’s success, but a business venture based on blind faith is inevitably going to end in tragedy!
It is essential that inspired ‘would be’ entrepreneurs first develop a sound business plan, one good enough to attract investment of either their own funds or OPM. My experience is that most people have ideas, they are easy and almost all are ostensibly ‘me-too’, they also often possess skills and knowledge but rarely the capacity to convert that and their experience into a plan to generate income.
They don't know where to start. Too many ideas in their brain, like colliding static. Start writing down ideas - a Timeline to do tasks. Funds Needed List, Sales Forecast, Cash Flow.
In many cases, it is F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real). Ideas come and go. Nothing happens unless you take action. Often, when a new idea or project begins to unfold, we can quickly find ourselves in a state of overwhelm, and the great idea dies a premature and unnatural death. This is the tragic end for most great ideas.
It does not have to be that way. As the old adage states, the longest trip begins with but a single step. The first step is to sit down, preferably with folks you like and trust, and start to plan the next steps.
A great way to do this is with a large chalk board or other "posting" medium. Everyone gets a stack of post-it type paper, and you start to brainstorm. Start with the 30,000 ft. view. What categories does every business need. Everyone writes down what they think applies. For example, some of the post-its might read: space; location; leadership; marketing; operations; and so on. Next, off, of all these, you discuss and agree on which could be eliminated for a start-up, and which are critical. Important note: During each step, NO idea is denegrated or demeaned in any way. There are NO bad ideas. Simply, there may be good ideas that are, for whatever reason, decidedly not right for this stage. Now that you have decided the major categories at the TOP of the plan, you repeat the step for subcategories. For example, for the leadership selection, you might have the following: ceo/president/boss/owner; head of production; sales lead; marketing mgr.; cfo/accountant/bookkepper; coo/gm/office mgr, etc.
Repeat the preceding downstream, until you can't think of any more subcategories, or they cease to make sense for the concept.
Now start the process over for any other category you can think of, such as: financial planning; inventory control; purchasing, and so forth. As this unfolds, you are beginning to eat the elephant one bite at a time, and you can begin to see the managability. FEAR becomes hope and hope is the way dreams become the reality.
So - take a deep breath, and take a positive and powerful step forward with that great idea, and make your dreams come true. When you do this, it becomes a dream for more people than just the instigator, and can reward everyone involved.
As the dream unfolds, take time to rethink it by repeating this whole process as a regeneration of the original idea, and to ensure you are staying connected to your values, and the integrity of the original intention of the great idea.
Personally, I think the biggest deterrants to people starting a business are "Fear" and "Lack".
1) Fear of of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of "losing" what one already has or has already accomplished (as stated by another on this thread), fear in the form of self-doubt, and similar.
2) Lack of knowledge, lack of ambition (unwillingness to gain the knowledge necessary through their own efforts/research), "lack" of capital (even though this can be supplemented, or generated, when one employs creative and/or analytical thinking), lack of confidence, and similar.
To example, while in school - many moons ago - we were once asked, "If you were wanting to move to the Caribbean, how would you do it and what would you need to do to get there?"
My school mates' answers were typical responses of "save money, get a job ahead of time, plan ahead", etc. My response was, "grab my passport, stuff a backpack, hop a banana boat, and figure the rest out when I get there".
While their responses weren't "wrong" (and neither was mine "right"), I feel this situation helps answer your question. People constantly and consistently underestimate themselves, place themselves in a place of stagnation ("comfort zone") they feel they have to carry with them/otherwise maintain, and negative self-perceptions prevent them from forward thinking motion.
Starting a business is about taking calculated risks with a "sink or swim" mentality. I feel a lot of people are not that "brave" and give the consequences of "failure" (which should be viewed as an educational experience) far too much weight.
My Two Cents for the Peanut Gallery...
I would say money to cover main expenses of bringing your idea to life. Market maturity comes second - do you know flat screen TV existed many years before Japanese decided market is mature enough to accept the idea? Besides - don't you think your experience is about dealing with already exsting services/ideas when the "good idea" is very often soenthing completely new? Then you are a sort of rookie... oups, pioneer,right ?
Right after you adjust to the idea of not having a steady income is when you realize you will need money to tell anyone about the great service or product you offer. It costs money to engage the neighbor, neighborhood, Town, City, County, State, Nation and The World that you exist and that what you are offering is so amazing that they want to engage and convert into customers. In no time at all, you can see that what you initially thought would be enough money is not even close to what you really need to make it work.
You must have access to OPM (other people's money). That means investors, loans' and profits will all be needed if you are going to be successful. Thinking you can succeed with only your resources and organic growth is very much like the guy on a 100-foot diving board jumping into a baby swimming pool. If every business faces an 80/20 survival rate after the first two years the companies that succeed without OPM are closer to 97/3 not even 3%.
Most studies of small business failure rates and reasons for failure have shown the following. 80% fail in the first two years. 80% of applicants for small business loans are declined. Then to wrap it all up the single largest reason stated for business failure is running out of money. Not quickly adopting the need for access to OPM limits access because by the time the business owner realized they need the money they are under too much financial stress to qualify. No lender or investor wants to jump on to a sinking ship.
Plan to use OPM or become another statistic.