Posted: December 11, 2019 by Kelly Murphy-Redd
Read the Wall Street Journal lately and you see weekly articles about We Work. Nothing good is being said. We Work is a real estate company that specializes in co-work space both physical and virtual. This idea really began at the turn of the century. It’s only 20 years old. It started out as a solution to a problem. Simply, it was unproductive for some to work at home, cost prohibitive to rent or build an office of your own and it created a social and synergistic working environment. What a cool idea. Many jumped on this bandwagon and started co-work spaces. Many closed a year later. We Work has more problems than it can count including the flamboyant CEO.

Modern pizza delivery has been with us since the 1960s, not counting the legend of King Umberto I of Italy and Queen Margherita of Savoy. They were on business in Naples in 1889, when the queen requested to dine on something that the common Italian would eat. Renowned Napoli pizza chef Raffaele Esposito delivered pizza to the king and queen.

In 2004 Grub Hub was founded by two web developers that needed food when working late. Door Dash was founded in 2013 by students.

Uber began in 2009 by two successful entrepreneurs who sold startups for large sums of money. Rumor has it they couldn’t get a cab one night and the idea was born. Lyft was officially launched in 2012 by two people who met on Facebook.

Articles also abound about these meal delivery and transportation companies. Big losses are being posted. Profits are not what they should be. There are CEO problems, etc.

Even the giant Amazon has seen a lot of negative issues surface lately.

Most great ideas stem from solving a problem and fulfilling a need. What seems like a good idea often is a good idea and fortunes are made. Then the second or third person wanting to build on that good idea comes along. They may or may not do well. When does the market become saturated? Success, if it happens, may be short term or long term.

These entrepreneurs, disrupters, and problem solvers face the challenges of growing or scaling their companies. If your business depends solely on you, meaning you are the brand, then scaling can be challenging. They face relinquishing control to others along the way. They face going public and reporting to investors. Some companies think the idea is so good that they don’t have to do it better, they just have to do it and the money will come rolling in.

Change is constant and businesses have to constantly look forward and plan. Each must think about how they can do it better than the other guy.

How can you take an idea and make it a business? Courage is necessary. Maybe a little recklessness and an attitude of “What the heck.” Advice is also necessary. Talk to successful companies, other entrepreneurs, do online research, get market studies such as finding out if specific industries would have potential in your area if you want to start up a business that already exists. For a new idea, it’s more difficult. Find out how other people made it happen. Successful people ought to want to share their experiences and expertise. Keep looking until you find those people. Money is always an issue.

Our EDC can help startups with information on potential entrepreneurial resources including people who may be amenable to sharing their experiences, incubators or accelerators, any known funding sources, available buildings, incentives (though usually very hard to come by for startups) and more. The local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is also a good source. The Haas Center in Pensacola can assist with studies and analyses, while our local educational institutions are a source of expertise in many different areas.

Take a lesson from those who started and failed. Learn from those successful companies that are facing tough times and losses. Planning is critical. Staying the course and growing at a controllable rate are also helpful. If you feel in your gut you have a great idea or product, then pursue it with everything you’ve got. You’ll regret it if you don’t, but be smart and know it will be hard work.