Here are a few things to think about when you are creating, improving or expanding.
1. Assume someone else has your idea. They are smarter, faster, and they have more money. Your fiercest enemy is hubris. Not costs. Not competitors. But the belief that your idea is completely original and infallible.
2. You can never have too much cash. Many companies with tons of sales have closed their doors because cash flow was poor. Build reserves and negotiate for additional credit whenever possible.
3. You don’t have to do it all. Decide early on whether you are an entrepreneur or a manager. Explore the pros and cons of licensing vs. production or sell your idea outright and use the proceeds to go do something else you love. But don’t just create a job for yourself.
4. Once you start slicing a market into segments, keep on slicing it thinner and more imaginatively. Emulate markets like sports drinks, energy drinks, clothing and cars. Everyone else is trying to turn your special product into a commodity. You must constantly innovate.
5. Maintain your focus. The sure way to fail is by trying to do too much at once. Pick a strategy, try it, evaluate the results, and make modifications, run with it or scrap it. But don’t try to test and analyze too many options at once; you’ll just overtax yourself.
The hard work is the planning and discipline. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s easy, but don’t think you’re doing it right just because you’re working hard.