'Whatever your business idea, think it through - and share it. Don't be precious about it...'
Ian Jones: CEO, Innopharma Labs
Whether it's building a pub or starting an education and technology company, think it through and share your idea.
Don't be precious about it. The more you share it, the more perspectives you get on it and the more opportunities you get to hone your pitch. Map out a plan. Visualise it. And back yourself. The same approach applies with a career change or taking yourself out of unemployment.
It's OK to be introverted - some of the smartest people are. What I've learned is that it's better and easier to be yourself and authentic - you use up less energy. When you're comfortable in your own skin it's easier for people to believe in you, because you're being consistent.
If you're setting up or running a business, ask yourself the question: "If funding wasn't an issue, what would I do?" This usually challenges your idea and your perception that funding is holding you back. It usually isn't. The money is out there - Enterprise Ireland, local enterprise boards, banks, EU grants, venture capitalists, savings, family and friends. You can have a website, Facebook/Twitter presence and connect with people globally for free from your laptop.
When it comes to growing your business, try writing 18-month plans. Visualise where you want the company to be in 18 months' time. How many employees, what products will you have, how many markets will you sell in, what will your turnover be? Stick in the many steps you need along the way to make that happen. When do you hire your second employee? When do you take office space? When do you make your first sale?
Hire the extroverts, hire the out-of-the-box thinkers, the risk-takers, those who are risk-averse. Hire the ones that drive you crazy. Try to get the right blend. This will benefit your business because it will be more representative of society and who you're working for - your customers. Not every customer is like you, and your personality might not always be the best for every role in your business.
Sunday Indo Business