Entrepreneurship For the Ad-Generation

Attention Deficit? Hyperactive? Nothing seems to hold your attention?

Have you thought of starting a business?

The key characteristics of successful businessmen include high energy levels and an ability to put attention on a number of activities at once. For a generation that’s grown up with i-phones, e-mail and instant results, entrepreneurship can lead to an exciting path where life truly becomes a game.

There is of course a snag.

Most experienced advisors will point to the importance of planning. Good business planning brings discipline to the structure and activities of a business. It is an opportunity to work through scenarios and evaluate strategies before committing significant resources.

It is vital.

But no matter how many times this is explained there is a hardcore of budding entrepreneurs who just don’t care. They’re bored with the idea of planning, seeing it as just another pointless piece of maths homework. They just want to get started.

OK…I’m not saying that’s a sensible approach, but if you’re one of that crazy gang then there is only really one thing you should do before spending too much money:

Go Sell.

Even if you don’t have a product yet…even if you don’t really know the market…even (especially) if you haven’t quit your job…go and sell one.

You see most people lie most of the time when it comes to buying. When shopping on-line we show interest in about 50 items (on average) before buying one, and that statistic merely reflects how we shop elsewhere as well.

So despite reassurances from your friends and expressions of interest from potential customers, the acid test is:

“Do they really want it enough to part with cold hard cash?”

You may argue that your business needs to be established before you’ll find out. You may point to the need for proper surveys, product development and a marketing campaign first. I would agree.

But to some sections of the AD-Generation the shining example remains Bill Gates.

In case you didn’t know, Microsoft sold their first version of Windows (called DOS) to IBM before they had developed it. Bear in mind that IBM was the biggest computer company in the world and Microsoft was completely unknown. This showed that IBM was hungry enough for the product but it also demonstrated that Microsoft could sell.

Any entrepreneur needs to prove their product AND themselves and if you can do that before committing huge resources then you will go into your new enterprise with much greater confidence. This isn’t really a substitute for thorough planning but could give you an insight into whether your proposition is really viable..

And don’t worry if it’s not, just walk away. You can console yourself with the fact that you’d have been bored with it by next week anyway…that’s the beauty of being part of the AD-Generation.