Entrepreneurship – turning a bright idea into a successful business
Find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and the steps for setting up a business.
We often hear about successful Kiwi entrepreneurs like Sam Morgan, founder of online trading website Trade Me, but what does it really take to turn a bright idea into a successful business venture?
Find out here what makes an entrepreneur, how to generate ideas for a business, and where to go for advice on setting up a business.
Hamish Pinkham talks about what it takes to be an entrepreneur – video
Hamish Pinkham, founder of Rhythm and Vines, reveals the secrets of entrepreneurial success. (Video - 3.21 mins).
What is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who:
- can identify what's missing in the market – an entrepreneur can spot business opportunities that will fill gaps in the market
- can identify key people to help achieve goals – nobody is an expert in everything!
- takes risks – even if you have carefully researched the market, there's always a chance that customers may reject your product or service
- shows drive and initiative – if you are launching a business you need determination and energy to overcome any obstacles
- is resilient – all entrepreneurs have failures and successes. Your ability to learn from mistakes and move on is key to the success of your business.
How do I come up with a bright idea?
Different ways to generate ideas include:
- lateral thinking – solving problems through an indirect and creative approach. Often referred to as thinking outside the box
- blue-sky thinking – open-minded thinking where everything is possible, and you are not restricted by realities
- gap analysis - problem solving by finding the gaps between what people need and what is actually available
Where do good ideas come from? - video
Steven Johnson explains where those good ideas come from. (Video - 4.06 mins).
Checking out the competition
Once you’ve gone through the brainstorming process and come up with or refined your business idea, it is time to check out the competition. All trading companies in New Zealand are required to register with the New Zealand Companies Office. You can search the office’s website for company details.
Choose a business mentor
A business mentor is an experienced business professional who provides you with advice, guidance and support as you launch and maintain your business venture. Having a mentor will boost your business’ performance, and increase your chance of success.
A mentor will:
- help you analyse your bright idea to see whether it is viable
- connect you up with key business people and customers
- provide a fresh perspective on how to grow your business
- be a sounding board when you need to discuss difficulties you are encountering
- challenge you to set goals for your business that may achieve better results.
A number of organisations have business mentoring programmes.
Choose a business incubator
Some organisations offer business incubators or accelerators. These help businesses that are starting up by providing services such as business advice, finances and access to shared premises.
The value of mentors - video
Jeremy Moon, Kathryn Wilson, Shelley Campbell, Antony Healy, Mahe Drysdale and Sarah Walker discuss the value of mentors in all stages of your career, and tips for the best ways to find a mentor who is helpful and inspiring. (Video - 2.08 mins).
Create a business plan
Once you have come up with an idea for your business, and done some research and planning, you need to write a business plan. This should outline:
- your key business objectives for the next three to five years
- how you will achieve these objectives
- the date when you will achieve these objectives
- how you expect to run day-to-day operations, and make business decisions.
The business.govt.nz website has several tools that help with business planning:
Sort out your business finances
You need enough money to set up the business and cover operational expenses until the business starts to generate a profit.
A range of organisations provide in-depth financial advice and information:
- Angel Investment Network website - connect with potential investors
- Business.govt.nz website - information on finance and money
- Inland Revenue Department website - information on starting a business
- Māori Women's Development Inc website - support for Māori business women and their whānau
- NZ Private Equity and Venture Capital Association website - how to get venture capital
- Sorted website - financial planning advice and tools
Find out about your obligations as an employer
As your business grows, you are likely to hire staff. It’s important that you have a good understanding of employment relations, and health and safety requirements for businesses.
Find out more
Updated 1 Nov 2016