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Should I change my approach or just give up?

Monday, 14 March 2011 | By Phil Weinman

I’ve had an idea for a service-based company for some time but have had no luck in finding funding or partners. Plus family and friends seem quite negative about the idea. They don’t think it will be a success. Should I change my approach or just give up?

 

Many start-up owners think that they have a great idea and that’s half of their job done. Well, unfortunately it’s not.

 

Ideas take time to shape and often change form. Many times I have started out with an idea and as I do my research, talk to industry experts and to my operations people, I find the idea changes path, becoming something quite different from what I originally came up with.

 

An idea takes work. Your initial idea might not be “the winner” and may need more development. An idea doesn’t work without a supporting structure behind it. I have people that apply the structure to my ideas. You probably need to realistically think about how your idea will work in operation.

 

You also need to look at why you can’t attract funding or partners. Funding is one thing but attracting partners to your good idea should not be too difficult.

 

Perhaps your idea is not developed enough? Sometimes when you are so passionate about an idea, it’s hard to see how it might work a different way.

 

Think about why you are trying to attract certain partners. Do they have ideas about how you could implement your idea differently? If so, listen to them. Their reasoning just might make a lot of sense.

 

While I am not really a fan of “opinion shopping” as I like to call it, I do understand people’s need for a second opinion.

 

I can’t count the number of times people have shunned my ideas. As long as you have the passion and believe in what you are trying to achieve you will be able to take criticism on the chin.

 

Constructive criticism is much different. Listen to others, take the advice you need or can use and drop what isn’t useful.

 

In terms of family – it’s always going to be tricky. Families are generally risk averse when it concerns children or siblings.

 

Parents like their offspring to have financial security. While they’ll always want what’s best for their loved ones, they grew up in a different time and have seen some spectacular start-up failures throughout the years.

 

I’m afraid you just can’t ignore partners’ and spouses’ concerns! You’re risking their financial security too.

 

Talk it through thoroughly with your partner and work out ways to help him or her feel secure. Make sure you listen to their ideas.

 

Usually when families have been in business for themselves they offer a more supportive approach to starting a business.

 

Perhaps seek out family and friends who have succeeded or not, with their own business venture and ask for their advice.

 

Even those who were not successful can offer some valuable insights and lessons learned to help you further craft your idea.