The idea of Entrepreneurship is a vague hazy and intangible concept at the “Advent” stage. This idea now needs to be given a shape and a form. At this stage of Manifestation an Entrepreneur is dealing with four issues:
- Formation of the organization
- Digital assets and presence
- Design of logo and emblems
- Evolving a product to “Go To Market’
The formation of the organization primarily is all about naming it and establishing it as a legal entity. I wish to discuss the aspect of “freelance” identity here. We see a lot of entrepreneurs choosing a freelance route because it avoids the statutory compliances that go alongside the creation of a business entity. It is a choice that always exists in the professional services world which is fast, inexpensive, and less cumbersome. However, it creates scale-up issues ultimately. Here the individual entrepreneur emerges as a brand and is the central focal point for the customer. It definitely creates a stagnation point after some time. But I do respect this choice as many would be content with the scale of operations that a freelance proposition can go with. An entity will always create an expansive image in the mind of your customer.
Start-ups, which wish to scale-up as brands need a separate legal entity in the form of a registered company under the laws of the land. The name and formation of this entity is a crucial aspect of the manifestation of a start-up. If the name of the company and the product are the same, then a product portfolio cannot be created. So it is always a great idea to name a company basis the concept of the product portfolios that you may create as a scale-up process of the start-up. Naming the organization is the key factor because you will then carry it to eternity. The name should ideally reflect the sense of purpose of the organization or a lot of times it goes with the family that created the venture. Both are fine options and a matter of personal choice. Remember it’s all in the name. The name is a component of brand identity. Give it a thorough thought and then finalize it. Work on iterations. Also in today’s world of internet and technology check if the domain name is available. Entity name not matching the domain name is a catastrophe most of the time. Buying a domain name that belongs to someone else is prohibitively expensive. As regards legal & statutory aspects of the formation of the entity, it should be best left to specialist professionals in that area. Do not forget to trademark your entity name. Once you start winning there will be others who will imitate your name and the logo.
The logo of your entity is the persona of the brand in the making. This is the next careful aspect of manifestation because a logo is also most of the time carried to eternity unless the organization decides to send a meaningful communication of change in persona to the market. Treat your logo as a lucky charm and design it well. Have numerous versions and select the one that is congruent with your sense of purpose. A logo has its own energy, and it must match your branding, concept, and culture. It is best to involve a creative designer who is passionate about designing logos. Love for making creative designs and logos is the definer of choice of the professional here. If you are lucky to have a friend or a family connect, please do give them the task. At the start-up, stage agencies tend to get too expensive to afford. A personal connection and love for you will show in the logo. A logo is a creative expression of your work. It stimulates the right brain. It is a description of you. Spend time and craft it to absolute completion both intellectually and emotionally. Once done immediately trademark it. A good logo will always be copied. You will see others creating their variants, and you can’t help it. So protect it legally.
Your digital assets are your websites, social media channels, and other content mediums. We qualify the assets in three categories; Owned, Paid, and Earned. At this stage of Manifestation, you will mostly have owned. Owned is primarily your content and paid are your digital banner advertisements. You may choose to postpone the activity of digital banners at this stage as your concept is still evolving. However owned content must go up on the website immediately. The day you launch formally your website is the first digital asset that will move. Building digital content is a perpetual process in the life- cycle of every organization. If you are not present in the digital medium, you are lost for sure in this Universe of start-ups and the business world.
While the above processes are in motion incubation of the idea is the most essential step. The idea must by now take the form of a tangible thought in your mind. Start talking informally to people about it. Get the pulse and remember in the process of innovation an innovator is a problem. Be open to see why it will not work. Check if the idea needs any modification. A lot many ideas failed because they did the reach the consumer in the form acceptable to them. Don’t test for need test for the hunger. Test if it is actually hurting. We go to a doctor only when it hurts beyond the limit, and that is the essence of every product. Go beyond the need element. The paradigm is the cat must drink the milk and not smell it. You can start testing through analytical tools later once you have some feel.
Manifestation is the most essential formative stage. This is when we lay the foundation for success. As a parallel entrepreneur, I have seen entities choking up because of the appealing concepts not being bought by the customer ultimately. Though one can always refine the concept, initial preparedness always helps. This is the best time to talk to the market, set up a conversation around your idea because once you get into actual incubation or acceleration of your idea the essentials are already in place.
A failed venture is always poorly manifested. The zest of getting the product or service out before time tempts us to bypass this process. Shortcuts hurt because what you sow so shall you reap!