The First 5 Steps for an Entrepreneur with an Idea

Entrepreneurs are a crazy bunch of people full of ideas and excitement. We talked about the 7 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs as well as the 50 Things Every Startup Should Know. Now, those either assume a) you’re a successful entrepreneur or b) you already have a startup. Well, a number of first-time entrepreneurs have an idea but don’t have a startup, yet.

Here are the first five steps for an entrepreneur with an idea:

  1. Get a co-founder – yes, you can do it on your own but it’s much more fun and you’re more likely to be successful with a co-founder
  2. Sign a customer – a customer should come before a product so that you don’t build the app in a vacuum
  3. Start building a product with the customer’s feedback – with the customer in place build a beta version in a collaborative process
  4. Sign 10 more customerscustomers are oxygen for a product, but don’t let a single customer dominate the conversation
  5. Enhance the product based on your vision and customer feedback –  rinse and repeat the previous two steps signing customers and enhancing the product indefinitely

This is obviously a simplified first five steps for an entrepreneur with an idea but it gets the point across — with a co-founder in place, start talking to customers and a build a product that adds value.

What else? What steps would you add or change for an entrepreneur with an idea?

5 thoughts on “The First 5 Steps for an Entrepreneur with an Idea

  1. I think the five that you list are important and great and I would like to add to the list. After having worked with a Small Business Development Center for about 2 years, I feel that writing a business plan is crucial to every business owner/entrepreneur. Not only does it build a foundation for the business by stating who the business is and what it does, but it serves as a blueprint for where the business is headed. In addition, it encourages the business owner to examine all aspects of their business from management and personnel to marketing and sales to an analysis of the industry it operates in. Furthermore, for an entrepreneur wanting to start a business and needing financing to do so, business plans and financial projections are almost mandated by bankers (at least in my area) as obtaining financing for the purpose of starting a small business is arguably the most difficult as its ever been.

    Great post!
    Brandon Horvath

  2. I agree with brandon.

    You don’t need a big detailed plan, but having an idea of how you’ll charge and who’s going to pay is a good idea. Also, check yourself to make sure it’s not a shrinking or bad industry (i.e. music or print media)

  3. I don’t think getting a co-founder is necessary. In fact, I think you can/should start doing some of those things before you have a partner so that your prospective partner knows you’re serious. On the topic of idea validation, many entrepreneurs use our service,, to help validate early stage ideas.

  4. Do they need to be in that exact order? I’m a tech founder, have already built a working product (MVP) that will go into beta soon. How do I find a co-founder with bus. dev and capital raising experience?

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