Will Ryles on being an entrepreneur

 

In the age of facebook and iphones, being an entrepreneur has never been so sexy. Ok, sexy isn’t quite the word, but I’m pretty sure if Ian Fleming were alive today James Bond would own twitter.

With unemployment at record levels, and under 25’s bearing their fair share of the jobless count, the pressure is high to go it alone, set up in business and buy a Ferrari.

Sadly it seems we we’re not all destined to make millions from day one. So without an endless supply of cash our societies budding young entrepreneurs are in for a tough ride.

As time moves on these sparks of light tend to flicker as reality hits and costs double. It seems being an entrepreneur is nothing like what we see on TV.

In an effort to stem the flow of cash from their pockets our young upstarts desperately cling to every opportunity they can find until they get that lucky break or bury their hopes and dreams in their pillow.

So how does society tell the successful from the incompetent? Do we praise the dedicated and frown upon the lazy? Do we celebrate the sales wiz and turn our backs on the meek?

Today the myth of rewarding the hardest worker is gone and in a truly global world even the recluse can have an aspiring internet business. While others can work every hour god sends, some can work no time at all and achieve greater results.

So we must look elsewhere for the reasons behind our young entrepreneur’s successes.  The lack of consensus on how to be successful has even given rise to a dangerous culture of unaccountability. With entrepreneurs judged purely on revenue and profit, little concern is given to how good their products actually are.

What our youngsters need is a path for success, a defined guide to the holy land of large bank balances. Yet the plan itself is rather simple; just get to know your customers.  After all, when we know our customers problems, we can find the best way to solve them.

 In the real world the most valuable solution, not the best product will always win. After investing millions, NASA solved the problem of writing in space with pressurised ink capsules. Yet the Russians simply used pencils.

Dovcor logo

 

In essence then, youngsters don’t need to be a rocket scientist to find the best solution. All they need to do is to understand how their customer thinks, and to do that they need to put themselves in their customer’s shoes.

 This in itself is a tricky undertaking, most under 25’s lack an ability to be objective, instead seeing things from their own perspective.  Yet once they have overcome this hurdle well intentioned learners can be led up the garden path to failure by less than positive role models.

Furthermore any young entrepreneur must be careful not to miss understand how customers measure the value of a solution. Most people assume price is the main factor, yet the success of the iphone, which is neither the cheapest nor the best product on the market pushes that notion firmly out of the window.

Juggling a whole host of factors from brand recognition and advertising to trust and convenience value isn’t just represented in a price tag, it’s more a perception, with the highest perceived value taking all.

So it seems entrepreneurs have their work cut out to find solutions and push the barriers of perceived value. Invariably there will be mistakes, and for some there will be failures, but by starting their journey in their customer’s shoes they could at least give that Ferrari a good chance.

With a clean sheet of paper, an open mind our young entrepreneurs can conquer the world, let’s just hope they tell  us how they did it.

Will Ryles is in charge of the day to day running of Dovcor Bathrooms, be it designing a brochure, sending out/storing products, controlling the sales, sorting out the office, in fact pretty much everything, he even dabbles in design!