Many people have great business ideas, know what they want, how much funding they need to start, how to get their first customer and all that.
Sometimes they might even have a product ready for the market.
What they might not have is the capital to turn their idea into a business.
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When we talk of turn most of us mean this:
- 1 When we talk of turn most of us mean this:
- 2 How it works in the real world
- 3 Why aren’t more people scaling down the size of their business ideas?
- 4 What can you do?
Say, I have an idea to start a daycare centre, my thoughts and efforts during the idea phase will normally cloud my mind with:
- all these pictures of amazing things I get to buy to start the business in a unique way,
- the idea that more money can help me differentiate myself from my competitors and
- tens of ideas on how to create a picture that people who will be paying for my services already have in their mind – in other words, trying my best to get enough money to create the exact picture that plugs right into their preconceived notions of what a great daycare centre should be like.
That way, I can afford to think that the chances of them calling, visiting my website, reading my blog, finding me, knocking on my door or opening their wallets increases just a little bit – to justify going after and funding the idea in the first place.
How it works in the real world
Sometimes, you and me are right to do all the things I have mentioned above.
The problem is: there are no guarantees that the more the amount of money used to turn an idea into a business, the more the business is likely to grow, fast, and become successful.
Therefore, the reason or reasons behind avoiding starting a business with what you have, waiting, looking for more funds to start you off should be looked at carefully. For when you do, you’ll be in a better position to judge whether the reasons are all but rising out of fear or not.
Many times we hear or read about business success stories and come up with these crazy assumptions that, once in awhile, even no amount of research can seem to shake.
These stories sometimes influence people and what happens next is that a person then gets fixated on getting a certain amount of capital before they can start their business, company or startup.
Without the capital they have in mind, they then just keep postponing opening their doors to buyers.
Why aren’t more people scaling down the size of their business ideas?
1. They don’t want to
When reading the ebook, 10 Things to Look at if You Are Thinking of Starting a Business, you will find that some people just don’t like the idea of increasing the gap between where they are and the big goals they’d like to achieve.
To them, it is like telling a runner to take a few steps back so that it will take more effort to reach the real starting point and the finish line of a marathon or race they have to run.
In this list of business ideas, there’s a very interesting example: starting a shop instead of a supermarket. How many people can scale down their idea to that level then committing themselves to working to reach the original idea, keep going, never looking back?
Why? Because scaling down demands more effort, patience, discipline, creativity, innovation, credibility, and courage from you…since the chances of the scaled down version of the original idea turning out as envisioned is almost zero and the pain that comes when one takes this route, invests money in this version of the idea only to fail can be too much.
Some would do all they can to avoid such an experience. To some failing at an idea that is just a dumbed down version of their original and main idea is just too big a deal.
Tell them to go this route and they’ll just stare you in the face and say I can’t, no reasons given.
2. It will take them more time to reach their goals
In the shop and supermarket example above, the time factor is another reason why people fear scaling down their ideas.
When someone tells you to start with a tiny shop when all you want money to start is a supermarket , it can be a little bit discouraging.
Suddenly you see more years added to your business to reach goals you think you could reach quickly, if you had the capital you wanted.
It could take you more time to reach certain goals when you scale things down. But that’s not often the case. There are people who scaled down their ideas and found that once they opened their doors to customers, they gained altitude real fast.
Your mind may tell you to wait, to not go down the route of dumbed down versions of ideas, to start big, and you can be convinced to wait, to start there, at the level that reassures – but doesn’t guarantee – you of reaching your goals faster.
Until you add your product or service to the market, you won’t know for sure whether starting now with a scaled down version of your idea would turn out to be a great decision compared to waiting three to twelve months or a few years more when you think you will have enough capital to start without scaling down your idea at all.
3. It’s hard to be taken seriously
This happens a lot to new businesses.
One way some people decide to boost their credibility and be taken a lot more seriously is to wait, not scaling down their idea – because scaling down will show others that they don’t have money, that they aren’t serious, that the lack of money therefore means their offering is inferior compared to what their competitors have in the market already, or that their business is headed down hill…to a hard crash that can only be summed in words like massive failure, debt and more debt, bankruptcy or dodo.
Who wants to do business with an entity that can easily attract such words? they reason, then jump to conclusions like, ‘Very few. Perhaps, no one. Not me!’
Being taken seriously means a lot to business owners. It is part of what keeps them waking up to improve their companies every single day.
When you can’t be taken seriously, it gets hard to get contracts, to get people to look your way and buy from you, to get referrals, to get repeat customers or to make a little more – which can then be reinvested back in growth.
With your idea scaled down, you can still be taken seriously – because this is one thing that has very little to do with how big you are. You will just have to put more effort in proving that you’ll keep the promises you make.
With more effort, you can nail down this thing. Extra effort can help you make your products more appealing in the eyes of those you want to sell to – and when you keep the promises you make to prospects and customers, you will be taken seriously, no matter how tiny your business is.
4. The hours one works a day can be too much
When you scale down your idea, sometimes it means having no, or very few, people to help you move up the ladder.
That could mean doing everything yourself which could lead to this: a clash between your business and family.
On one hand you’ll want to spend more time with your family, but on the other hand, you’ll want to not only come up with great products.
You’ll also want to put in more effort in the business so that it is able to support you and your family financially… to trim some of the debts you may have etc.
In situations like this, some are more likely to postpone launching until they have money enough to hire employees or pay for the services of a high quality freelancer.
Having contractors help you with some of the work when you make the choice to scale down and start right away can still lead to great things, leaving you just enough time for your family and business.
5. They fear someone else can copy their idea
That is what some people think when they see themselves as small fish surrounded by sharks. Waiting till you have the money to fully implement your idea, can that stop others from copying it?
Waiting may not stop some person, perhaps offering a product or service similar to yours, with more money and influence from copying your idea (or coming up with an idea like yours without even knowing you were thinking of the same), taking it to the market, building a business around it and taking over the same market you hoped to sell to – sealing almost all your planned points of entry.
But the market is usually big enough for products that are similar. Get yours out there and add on it as it attracts more revenue.
What can you do?
Remember that scaling down business ideas, startup, company, service or product isn’t recommended in every situation. It has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Do your research. And read the free ebook 10 Things to Look at If You Are Thinking of Starting a Business.
Then choose courage over fear – because, sometimes, that propels you further in business than any amount of money could.