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In this series of articles, the program directors of the Lyon campus share their valuable advice in their areas of expertise. Today, Laurent AjdnikDirector of the MSc2 Entrepreneurship and Start-Up, gives you 3 tips to succeed in your entrepreneurial adventure.
1. The market, the market, the market !
Does your idea sound great ? That’s for the customers to decide, not you…
You will rarely be greeted as a providential savior. Too many entrepreneurs fail, wondering, in a daze, why their so-called must-have offer didn’t convince anyone. Understand the expectations of your prospects. Go meet them to test your concept. Avoid family and close friends whose judgment is bound to be biased.
Promote rapid market access in the form of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) : You will spend less, you will get a real return and, not to mention, you will start generating revenue.
If it turns out that you are going to go straight into the wall, have the courage to react as soon as possible. Challenge yourself. Rethink your offer. In one word : Pivot !
2. There is no such thing as no competition !
Your offer is incomparable or unique ?
A quick reminder : Competition is not only the companies that offer the same thing as you. These are all those (so not only companies) that respond, directly or indirectly, to the same need. For example, a restaurant will compete with :
- All the traditional restaurants in the area
- All fast food offers
- All meal basket delivery services
- Less obvious but just as important : All activities that allow you to occupy your time between noon and 2pm (gyms, stores, public parks…)
Once you’ve taken a step back from the customer’s ultimate needs, ask yourself why they would go elsewhere to fulfill them. Then, imagine how to attract them to you instead.
3. Raising funds is not a panacea !
It has become a fashion, even a proof of success, but it is a trap. Are you ready to lose some of your autonomy ? Will you resist the sirens of the ” cash-burn ” ? Isn’t your need for money a sign of an unsuitable offer to the market ?
Favour organic growth as much as possible (this will force you to think carefully about your business model and accelerate your access to the market). Don’t overlook bank financing either. And if the use of an investor is still necessary :
- Prefer those who will be really useful to you, in terms of skills and network
- Corollary: Avoid investors interested only in the lure of profit or tax exemption
- Determine precisely the use of the funds to be raised : You will limit your needs while making your Business Plan much more convincing
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