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Ideas, People and Cash

By Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Whether it’s organic or by acquisition, these are the three critical elements you need to grow any business.

1. Ideas

It usually starts with an idea or innovation. The light-bulb moment, inspired by something we’ve experienced or noticed, when our mind is at its most relaxed and reflective, generally away from work. Large businesses brainstorm and hot-house to achieve breakthrough thinking, rarely having much to show for it. This is the weapon of the smaller, more nimble enterprise, which can be ideas-rich but cash-poor. Separate the `inventor` from the implementation as they’re too emotionally involved, and consider incubating the idea off-site to maintain momentum and avoid distraction.

2. People

Once the idea has been sense-checked, we need the right people to make it a reality. Ideas are easy – implementation is tough. Too often `spare` people become the project team, chosen because they’re not gainfully employed elsewhere. (That should tell you something). Instead, assemble a `Go Team`, the very best people you have with a proven record of start-ups and making ideas work.

3. Cash

Most ideas need some capital to support their launch before they produce a return. Setting aside sufficient cash is usually where most ideas come unstuck, running out of budget before they have a chance to demonstrate their value. If the cash isn’t available, consider a joint venture or licensing the idea. Better to have a small part of a big idea than no part at all.

It’s very rare to simultaneously possess all three elements, but if we do, investors, banks and buyers will beat a path to our door.

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