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Three steps to turn an idea into a start-up

Monday, 25 November 2013 | By Rose Powell

For every start-up launched, there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of start-up ideas. The way to find the courage to turn a good idea into a business, and how to actually do so is good planning, according to Athena Prib, co-founder and commercial director of business consulting group Gemaker.


Prib is chairing a panel at the upcoming Pause Festival with Rick Chen from Pozible, Erz Imam from Occasional Butler, Nathan Sampimon from Inspire9 and Alfred Lo from the Optus-Innov8 program.


Prib told StartupSmart aspiring entrepreneurs can take the following three steps to launch their companies.


Make sure there is a market and you’re giving them what they want


Many ideas falter because they haven’t been fully developed with a target customer in mind, says Prib.


The key to creating a business around your idea is to identify if there is a big enough market gap, and target your idea to the people most likely to use it.


“You need to make sure there is a need for your idea. Talk to as many people as you can about it, especially those you think are your target customers, search online extensively, go and speak to the leaders in the industry you’re targeting,” Prib says.


While the core of your idea may stay the same, the details and delivery of your business idea will probably evolve, says Prib.


“You need to get the information to get a sense of whether there is a place for it, and what kind of space it would best fill,” she says.


Work out how it’s going to make money and how much you’ll need to launch it


Once you’ve got a sense that there is something to your idea, you can start exploring how the idea might form a business.


“Take the idea and ask yourself what would be the ins and outs of the business you’re planning? What do you need to do to get it off the ground? Make a list,” Prib says.


She adds first-time founders should pay particular attention to what skills are needed to complete each task to launch the business such as developing a website.


“Do you need to bring experts in for any aspect? Work out how much is it going to cost before you decide whether or not to seek funding,” Prib says.


She adds once founders know how and when money will start coming in will shape what kind of funding and team they develop.


Work out your limits and get comfortable with risk


One of the biggest blockages for aspiring entrepreneurs is fear, but solid planning and connecting with your local start-up community will help you overcome it.


“Different people are happy to take on more less risk. But if you don’t take a risk, you never know,” Prib says. “Good planning will get you there. I know it helped me to know how I was going to make an income, that there was a market and to have a strong sense of who the people who made it up were.”


She adds finding mentors who have previously launched and built successful businesses can be a breakthrough for first-time entrepreneurs.


“In start-up land, there are a lot of people out there and there is a community that wants to help each other. If you’ve got your idea, and can see the business model will work, it balances out the risk,” Prib says.