Entrepreneurs tend to feel that if they keep things quiet it will turn out better. But it is best to discuss your start-up idea from the start
Planning a party is like planning a business
I recently planned a party and at first I wanted to keep every detail of it a surprise that would wow my family, friends and people who attended.
I wanted them to walk into something unexpected and leave with fond memories. But then I remembered that organising this party is not very different from discussing a start-up idea, and why it was important to get my guests’ insight as they would be sharing this experience, too. After all they were my audience.
So I did discuss my ideas but not with everyone. I spoke to my a couple of my cousins and a few friends and shared with them the idea that I had in mind for this party. I initially planned to hold it at a venue in a particular hotel but, after speaking to my target audience representatives, I knew that it was best to move it to another venue that offered private access, closer proximity and a wider food menu. I also had a timeline set for the party, but after talking to cousins and friends I decided it was wiser to move it to a different date and time..
Their input was also valuable when it came to the décor of the venue, and party programme. Their insight was extremely valuable even down to the very dress I had planned to wear. I had previously planned to visit a couple of places in Dubai, but a close friend reminded me of a designer in Abu Dhabi who I have always admired the work of, but somehow in the midst of planning this party had forgotten about. I made an appointment and walked out with the exact dress I had in mind, and saved myself the Dubai trip.
The bottom line is, though, that what I had in mind was extraordinary, my target circle’s input took my party to another level; and the plan turned out better than expected.
When it comes to a start-up idea, entrepreneurs tend to feel that if they keep things quiet it will turn out better. But I have learned throughout the year that it is best to discuss your start-up idea from the start. You do not have to do so with everybody, but you should consult a few people. One could be your mentor, another would be your target customer, and a third could be a friend who runs a similar business and who could assist you in some aspects and save you time and trouble.
For instance, if you plan on pitching your idea to potential investors then you should practice talking about it to as many people as possible, answering their questions, and work on refining areas that are underdeveloped. By gathering people’s feedback as early as possible, you could avoid wasting time working on ideas that would not sell. Think about it. You will have to tell people about it sooner or later. The longer you wait, however, the more risk spending money on products that people will not buy.
Another reason that may deter you from telling people about your idea is the fear that someone else might take it - and that is something that I have personally seen negatively affect some entrepreneurs who could have learned a few things or more before investing so much money. If you have a great idea about a start-up, there is a huge chance that there are people who offer a similar product. That should not discourage you.
What really sets entrepreneurs apart is how they execute an idea, their team members, and how they take care of their clients. I have also found that it is best to find yourself a nice workspace that you go to and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. You never know, it could be there where you find suppliers and establish a network group for your business.
If you are still hesitant about sharing your idea, then just keep in mind the multitude of opportunities and tips that you could miss out on because you decided to keep it hushed up. You do not have to be loud about it, but telling it to a few key people could definitely take it to the next level. I have a number of people I always go back to for business ideas and their advice has helped my business a great deal. I would not have it any other way.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages her branding and marketing consultancy in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: