Why you must keep the slugs away from your best-ever start-up business idea

The best business start up idea the word has ever known can’t be turned into a real business without a considerable amount of dedication and commitment. In a way, it’s like growing tomatoes, which is another activity fraught with difficulty if you’re to have any chance of doing it successfully.

To paraphrase an old saying, the road to hell is paved with good inventions. These are the great ideas, which, having come to someone, somewhere, weren’t turned into successful businesses, instead being cast by the wayside as failures.

It’s fair to say that some ideas were always doomed to failure, like Henry Ford’s dream to create an American town in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, or a scheme to have floating airfields in mid-Atlantic.*

No idea on its own, having been the subject of a light-bulb moment, will make anyone a millionaire. For that to happen, someone must nurture it, creating the right conditions in which it can flourish.

How to be a business gardener
Take the pinch of tomato seeds in our picture. They have the potential to be a row of healthy plants laden with fruit, but only with the right amount of care lavished on them by the gardener.

It’s just the same for a new business start up. Dedication and commitment are required to create the conditions in which the idea can flourish.

With the tomatoes, the soil (which has to be of the right type), must contain just the right amount of moisture and be exposed to the right amount of light.

The gardener must be on the constant lookout for pests and diseases, because he’s not the only one who can make a meal from a selection of succulent tomatoes.

As the plants begin to grow, he must support them to see that they don’t outgrow their strength, must continue a measured watering routine, and must continue to be vigilant against pests.

Then as the fruit forms and starts to ripen, he must prevent further growth which would sap the strength required by the plants as they strive to produce fruit.

And the commitment takes a great deal of time. There is no room for a few days off, because that puts at risk all the good work achieved up to that point, and will cause setbacks or even ruin the crop.

And so it is with business. More skills than having the idea are required – and in any event, you might argue that having an idea requires no skill at all. Finance must be found; products piloted, patents procured, and clients canvassed. And all the time the clock ticks, because time is a finite budget and a hard taskmaster. Once spent, it can never be recovered. Using it wisely is important, because nurturing a startup idea will fill every waking moment, leaving you no time to earn any money another way, sharpening the focus needed to start generating revenue.

Business expense software
Expense Manager AppAnd when the revenue starts to roll in, the pressure doesn’t ease; it just changes into a different kind of pressure, or pressure from other areas. Is you cash flow controlled; are your expenses managed?

Surround yourself with effective business systems that will achieve tasks quickly and effectively. Use an expense manger app like ExpenseOnDemand to control your outgoings, so that you can not only track business expenses, but interpret the data to find out weak points in your business, and refine the process to strengthen them.

Because ExpenseOnDemand is cloud based expense management software, you can manage expenses anywhere; on a train, in a coffee shop, or in your pyjamas at 2am – and why not? Clearing up a query in the wee small hours might make you more relaxed and therefore more able to sleep.

You need expert help
Get experts on board to undertake non-core activities. How do you know what a non-core activity is for your business? Easy. Ask yourself if it will generate revenue. If the answer’s no, then it’s not a core activity. Under that heading come disciplines like accountancy, web design, and logistics; the things you could get other people to do whilst you get on with doing things that will lead to an invoice. And in fairness, professionals would do those things better than you anyway, because they’re professionals at what they do, and you’re not.

So, if you’re growing tomatoes or growing a business, you need to give it all of the attention you deserve, because if you don’t, the moment you’re back’s turned the slugs will move in and chomp down not only on your crop, but also on your dreams.

*Both were real ideas; Ford’s town was attempted and ultimately failed; the floating airfields, if you’ll pardon the pun, never got off the ground.

Picture: Terry Brooks | Dreamstime