How safe is your business idea from the Pipe Dream shelf ?

Vintage lightbulbs illustrating business idea concept

You know the routine right?

You wake up in the morning buzzing with enthusiasm to get your latest idea launched.

That flash of inspiration in the shower, the “Ah ha!” moment as you read the morning paper.
So you fire up the laptop, skype a couple of friends, Google some prices and see what else is out there.

By lunchtime the consensus is that you are mad, what you want to do will cost so much to develop and bring to market; you’ll be lucky to keep your house.

By teatime, slightly disappointed, your business idea has been put on the shelf marked “pipe dreams” and your creative juices are being used to find the next scheme that will transform your fortunes, bring world peace, and a top place in the league for your football team.

For many this cycle can be frustrating.

Soul destroying even.

Not for you though.

You are an entrepreneur and a bad day is one where you don’t wake up with a world beating idea.

Guess what, you’re not alone!

The world is changing, are you equipped to change with it?

The world has changed enormously in the last few years.

Many of us are disillusioned with the world of corporate job “safety”. The banks and governments have managed to push things to the point where millions of valuable, expensively educated and experienced people worry about whether they will have a job next month.
There is a quite remarkable acceptance that our whole global financial future depends on people with bright ideas building successful businesses and providing wealth and employment to those around them.

Well here’s the good news, web technology has made it a whole lot easier than it used to be.

I am not talking about “get rich quick” schemes, stock market investment “boiler rooms” and the worst excesses of the internet marketing fraternity.

We don’t want to be those guys, do we?

I’m talking about properly scoped, revenue led, businesses run on lean principles; scaled to fit the prevailing conditions and agile enough to take advantage of any shift in the market or available resources.

Show me the money!

I know what you’re thinking.

“OK smarty pants, where do we get the money to build these businesses?”

These days a bank loan is probably the closest thing to selling your spouse and kids into slavery.

Venture capitalists are great if you have a genuinely, due-diligence-proof, no brainer of an investment and you are happy to give away most of the equity. This makes you pretty much the same as an employee.

Crowdfunding?

Well, getting closer, but you still need to convince a lot of people to pay for your idea and for many, the cost of a campaign can be prohibitive.

Still, definitely moving in the right direction.

Slow and steady wins the race

What I’m talking about is “bootstrapping”.

You work with your own resources and build slowly.

You start with your ideas and passion. You find out what people are prepared to pay you for the “minimum viable product”, build an audience and use all the free and low cost pay per use services available to take this product to market. Once you have a bit of revenue coming in you look at what is working and what isn’t, make adjustments and move up a notch.

Over the last 12 months I’ve been working on a project which will help anyone with an idea to bring it to market with the minimum capital investment.

My mission is to enable anyone who wants to start a business or develop a business idea to use the technology available to properly validate the idea and succeed without having to borrow large amounts of money or give the idea away to venture capitalists.

I’ve spent most of my working life building data management systems and solving tricky integration problems between trading partners. I’ve learned how to use technology to solve real world problems and build profitable enterprises.

I worked out a while ago that one key element of any successful business venture is the ability to build collaborative relationships with others and social media is now changing the way business operates in a revolutionary way.

I’m not afraid to learn from others.

I’ve selected and pulled together a mountain of valuable material from all over the web. I understand the data analysis and the technology behind all of the current tools. I have years of programming and systems/business analysis behind me and I’ve used that experience to put a platform together that I can use to help my clients connect with their target audience, create and distribute digital products and manage the interface between the web and the world.

Introducing Bootstrap Wealth

I am calling this project “Bootstrap Wealth”.

This is not a “one size fits all” thing.

It’s a fusion of consultancy, education and web development.

I’m trying to create several paths through the content to suit your purposes. Some will already be tech savvy but need some tactical advice, others are seasoned marketers but need the tech set up and ready to roll.

If I’m being completely honest, I have never been very good at selling.

I spend a lot of time worrying about whether I am pestering people with things they don’t want.
We are all busy people and if your email box is anything like mine you will be fed up of seeing a constant stream of emails from people trying to sell you stuff.

I’ve spent the last couple of years researching this venture and I’ve subscribed to a lot of email lists.

Believe me, I understand!

So I want to make sure that what I am building fits with real problems and frustrations and fits to your situation. I’m advising lean startup methods so I want to use those principles to give you exactly what you need, no padding, no waste.

What is blocking your business idea?

I’m looking for entrepreneurs who would like me to work with them to turn their ideas into a profitable reality.

I would really value some help with this.

I have a whole heap of solutions but what I really need are some problems to solve.

I want to know what is getting in the way of you developing your business idea.

Some of these may be quick fixes. Others may require a bit of work. You may want to do this yourself and just need a bit of a steer, I’ll be happy to help you make a start.

I need to work out how to deliver these solutions to the right people at the right level and I would be very grateful if you could fill in this anonymous survey.

If you could share the link with as many of your friends and followers as possible too then that would be very kind.

If you think I might be able to help with a particular problem then fill in the contact information. If you want to remain anonymous then that is is perfectly fine with me, your answers will be just as valuable.

If you want me to help you get your idea off the “pipe dream” shelf then please do let me know.

Martin Edwards
Martin Edwards is an online business development consultant with a particular focus on using the free and low-cost pay-as-you-go services to build "Lean & Agile" internet businesses that are sufficiently inexpensive to establish that they can be bootstrapped without venture capital or bank debt. He is launching a new blog devoted to Lean Startups BootstrapWealth.com - download his guide to free video creation tools
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