Would-be entrepreneurs are often unsure whether they should talk about their business ideas. On one hand, they’re rightfully concerned that word might spread to their competitors. On the other hand, here are five reasons we think most entrepreneurs should share more with their family, friends, and advisors.
1. It’s not the idea, it’s the execution.
Raw ideas are overrated. Other people may have already tried your idea and failed, either due to weak execution or because the idea itself isn’t viable as-is. We found it hard to excite our friends with the idea of building inventory software, but we’re doing well because we were able to execute building the best software out there.
2. Think more clearly about your idea.
Many educators will tell you that the best way to learn is to teach. Similarly, talking about your ideas will force you to crystallize them clearly from a perspective that makes sense to each person you talk to. Have you ever had a friend come to you about a problem, then realize halfway through that just talking about it helped her come up with a solution? Thinking aloud helps you think well.
3. Get a reality check.
Even the best of us are wrong sometimes, due to missing crucial information or misjudgment. It takes an optimist to start a business, but by talking with a number of other people, you make sure that your ideas are solidly grounded to reality. Maybe somebody will point out a competing product that makes your idea not viable as a business, or bring some complexities to your awareness that help you re-evaluate your business plan.
4. Look for unexpected opportunities.
I’m always surprised how often when I talk to people and find we can help each other in some totally unexpected way. Chance encounters have lead to business partnerships, suggestions for improved working methodologies, sales leads, marketing channels, and so on. Most people love to help. The more people you talk to, the more doors you open.
5. Let your excitement flow.
Your enthusiasm is a key resource for your fledgling business project; nothing gets done without it. Expand this resource by going with the natural urge to talk about it.