by Ben Pua (Singapore)
“A business idea never hits the spot the first time around.” That was my biggest take away from this short and concise experience. 13 weeks was all it took for me and my group of friends to start from the generation of the idea and putting the business into the industry and out again. Short, but it was fruitfully lined with experience.
Talentsport came to life with 4 budding and hopeful undergraduates in anticipation to carve a business out of their passion. However soon after the inception of the idea, one founder had to leave the partnership for other more pressing commitments. Even before we had a chance of working on the idea, we now stare at our first setback right in the face: Manpower. Now with only 3, the going is only going to get tougher. In addition, starting a business from no experience and no links within the Industry was laughing matter. That would mean a lot more ground work for all of us, so it was back to the drawing board.
Armed with nothing but our passion and guts, we ventured out beyond the textbooks and into the real world; a real world where theories are nothing but waste paper and that no perception is more right than the market itself. Just as any passionate uninitiated entrepreneur would definitely believe that their initial plan was workable and the best, we were a little more conservative and we were looking at a moderate penetration of 30%. However, little did we expect our meeting with the cold hard truth of reality so fast. Rejection.
Rejection was the immediate. We visited schools hoping to use them as a form of distribution channel but were hastily chased away like we were some form contagious disease. Notwithstanding the conservative estimates, we were totally beaten by the market. And it was back to the drawing board again!
Further along the way of our little 13 week experience, we encountered further setbacks and we kept returning to the drawing board but staying true to the core business concept. Having a smaller team to work on this business was really both a boon and a bane. I realised that we were able to jump from idea to idea and modify the business swiftly and capitalise on the lessons we learnt from the setbacks. At the very end, I realised that although we tried to stick to the core concept, we ended up taking a whole different approach to achieve it.
At the end, it’s never about pride of the initial idea, but its all about using any feasible method to get the business off the ground. And you might notice how differently the business is taking off from what you initially expect.