Entrepreneurship, an exciting and sometimes addictive game that some of us get the chance to taste at least once in our lifetime. But what is entrepreneurship? In average, a person gets about 2-3 viable ideas per year but that does not make that person an entrepreneur. There is more to it; an entrepreneur is someone who will take that idea, product or service and is able to transform it into a profitable working business.

Most of these so called entrepreneurs have their own methods and ways of going about reaching sustainable success but they all have something in common; they are willing to take risks and have a plan.

So let’s look at some of the basic steps that some newcomers tend to forget.

Yes, you will have to put things to paper! Nobody is expecting an encyclopaedia but at least write down the idea and how you see your future business work. It’s important to understand where you are at today, what you want to achieve and how you are going to go about it. Planning how you will develop your business, what will be your costs or investment needs and how you are going to generate revenue will be crucial for any further actions.

It’s great to have an idea and a plan that might work but what do you know about the market? Who will be your customer(s) and what do they want or even better, need? As an entrepreneur you should at least get an understanding about current market conditions, trends, competitors, customer profiles and possible partners. Oh, and it has never killed anyone to make a SWOT analysis at this point!

Now that you have a plan and you know about the market, your business will need money to start as well as survive. In some cases you might have saved up enough to realise your dream however in many other cases you’ll have to go look for funding and that’s where the “make or break” starts. Remarkably many tend to forget that they’ll have to pitch their idea and their plan to others. It means you’ll need to convince the other to fund your project.

Since funding is crucial let’s bring a special focus on pitching and here are some of the things to remember:

  • Be prepared: know yourself, your story and investigate the person you are pitching to
  • Be able to tell a story
  • Get to the point: how much will it cost, how much does your business project to make, how much are you asking for and what do you offer in return?  
  • Have an exit strategy
  • Know everything: make sure you know your market data, all of it!
  • Adapt: you should be able to give your pitch anywhere between 2 and 15 minutes.
  • Be confident and relax!

Now that you’re organised and funded it’s time to get to the real work and put it all into action. This is the moment where you set up your business’ organisation as well as your entire operations. Have you thought how to implement production, logistics, human resources, finances and marketing?  Once that is all covered you’ll need to monitor and control your business so that you are able to adapt wherever needed. Carefully selecting your KPI’s will be a key element to keep track of how your business is running.

So… hope for the best & prepare for the worst!

Got an idea and want to bring it to life? Our 2-day entrepreneurship course allows you to develop your idea, understand the steps involved to put your idea into action, pitch like a champion and start your business the right way.

 

Olivier-Verschelde

Olivier Verschelde Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Prior to joining Lausanne Hospitality Consulting Olivier has been involved in managing a new boutique hotel & spa project near Paris as well as taking the lead in the setup of several food and beverage outlets from conceptualization to startup.

One of these being a gastronomic restaurant which received its first Michelin guide star five months after its initial opening.

Olivier graduated from the Ecole Hotelière Lausanne in 2003 and has been building up his knowledge of operations in hospitality industry ever since. He confirmed his expertise in managing projects by obtaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2012. He has worked several years on high profile projects within Switzerland and has consequently a good understanding of both the local and national market.

His is a native Dutch speaker and also speaks in English, French, German as well as Spanish. He’s always on the lookout to apply the latest in technological advancement within the industry to current projects.

Besides from being a certified scuba-diver he enjoys a good game of golf or can be found in his kitchen cooking up some new dishes with a good glass of wine.