For startups one of the first challenges to overcome is risk. Transforming an idea into a viable product or service involves weighing up financial and time management risks. From a very early stage founders must ask themselves whether they should drop everything and place all efforts into their new business endeavour.
For some Aussie startups risks like these are what made their companies successful and flourish in a market that has a high rate of failure. Managing time and knowing when to push out ideas into the market is a risk that is best overcome through early stage customer and market feedback. By waiting too long to push out an idea, startups risk being left behind by something new and more exciting filling up those previous marketplace gaps.
Diving head first into the market can be daunting for entrepreneurs who don’t want financial exposure weighing over their head. Services like Honcho add in that extra piece of security and industry advice. The low cost subscription service helps early stage businesses gain quick market feedback and key insights on their ideas, products or services.
Having an idea and jumping on it is what founder of Showpo Jane Lu knows better than most. After finishing a degree in Commerce at UNSW and taking on a job at Ernst and Young, Lu doubted her career decisions. It was in the middle of the financial crisis when Lu quit her corporate job and opted to start her own small business, Showpo, which today is a multi-million dollar business.
Lu explained that when starting a new business founders need to take a leap of faith, but with that leap support from family, friends, mentors and industry is crucial. In the past she has said women think of a million reasons why they may fail and shouldn’t start a business before they think of why and how it will succeed.
Within the wider startup ecosystem in general these time and financial risks can seem all too hard to overcome. Ideas that could become multi-million dollar businesses are placed in the too hard basket and never come to fruition.
Lu says that after having failed the whole process is not as scary or bad as it seems. Young entrepreneurs should always back themselves and take the necessary risks in order to succeed.
A good way to back yourself is taking on some added support services that allow you to focus on moving the business forward, rather than being tied up by finances. Services like Honcho are used by startups to get their idea off the ground and into the market within the same day. They’re getting everything they need from domain names to logos to start marketing ideas into the world. Accesses to all these services are affordable and take out the hassle of dealing with administration side of business.
Like Showpo, which stepped straight into the online fashion world thanks to Lu leaving behind the corporate world, furniture startup Jason L has shared a similar story. Having left university in 2009, Jason Levin struggled to find work as a consultant, and so decided to take a risk and start his own online furniture business.
In the early stages Levin and his brother had to borrow money and expose themselves to great financial risks. From testing their idea in the market, they saw a high growth in customer demand and decided to purchase their own furniture stock and open a showroom.
From taking that chance, Jason L has now become one of Australia’s fastest growing businesses, making it onto the BRW Fast 100 list in 2014. If he could go back and do anything differently, Levin said he would definitely take the risk again, but only be more wary when it came to marketing the business.
For many startups like Showpo and Jason L the business world was a new and scary place where taking financial and time risks were crucial to their success. Knowing when and how to take these risks is best determined by the market.
Thanks to online services like Honcho an idea can be quickly turned into a business to give founders that early critical knowledge of how their product or idea translates into the market and whether it’s something that has the potential to be a million dollar success.
Featured image: Founders of Jason L, Jason and Marc Levin
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