I met with a couple the other day that wanted to start a business. They had what they believed was a “great concept”. Everyone they told it to, said that is was gold. They were told that you have to do this. The husband was the dreamer and explained this concept. The wife came along, I thing because she would not let loose of the purse strings unless she was able to buy into the concept becoming a successful business.
s we sat discussing the concept, we agreed that the concept had merit. The dreamer was so excited seeing how it could help almost every industry. He thought he solved the problem to the challenge that all business run into his high customer acquisition cost. He was talking about how the concept could help those that were living pay check to pay check.
As I tried to focus the dreamer on how to start this out in a smaller scale and establish a proof of concept. The next hour he was bouncing off every place this could work. I asked for him to give me his best niche business to target first with this concept. Again, the dreamer’s thinking was to big.
The challenge was to sit him down to channel all of that positive energy into creating a business plan. One that identifies the target and the value that would be derived. The cost and how will he get paid. What other benefits would happen for the end user and how to make that process and benefit simple to the end user.
That is when a dream hits reality. That is when you realize that a granular plan, with healthy evaluation points that can help say no to a losing proposition early on before investing any more money. You cannot surround yourself with just yes people. You need to hear the truth and approach the process with a healthy dose of skepticism. If you think it is good then refine the value proposition in three to four sentences that can serve as an elevator pitch. In this specific plan, we did not want to boil the ocean so the goal for the proof of concept is to create a positive cash flow. That way the next niche can be fueled by money already coming into the business.
The other part was how much did he need to make on a monthly basis to deem this a success. This proof of concept is not something you quit your job over. It just says to take step 2. The challenge I proposed was to find that one idea and build out a granular plan, then we could step in and help him with marketing and having a digital footprint.
More than just the idea, it is important with whom we decide to partner with. This dreamer could get distracted for the task at hand and never be able to make the next leap. The other option is that in three weeks he has a fully vetted plan that makes sense and it can be executed against with a built in out clause, that would stop the bleeding on a loser.
My thoughts are that I love to interact with Dreamers. However, I can only partner with dreamers that can map out a logical business plan and have embedded in it a healthy dose of “Murphy;s Law”. I sure hope this dreamer rises to the occasion and presents something that we can invest in together. Here is rooting for the dreamer.