3 types of people that can help you kick-start your first business idea

You will be surprised that these people are already around you.

The idea of Sqkii struck me when I was having supper with Marcus while taking a break from our examination preparation. That was back in 2012. What brought us from where we were to where we are right now was finding the right people to form the core team.

Fortunately for me, I found 3 right people for my team. In fact, you might already have these 3 types of people around you to help you get started with your business.

So, who are they??

1. The Dependable Friend

This is someone who has tried running a few small businesses but has yet to hit the big one.

Your first impression of him or her is that of a no-nonsense person. He or she is the one whom you can most definitely rely on to consistently pressure you to stop procrastinating and start acting upon that big idea of yours.

I found this dependability in Marcus.

He has already been doing business since the tender age of 10 and that to me was a good track record for someone who is actually walking the talk. With him on the team, we did little talking but a lot of working and writing.

We were focused and motivated by a strong sense of purpose.

2. The Ideal Project Mate

You got to know this person from one of your project groups. Somehow, or rather, you feel very comfortable working with him or her.

You are able to fearlessly express your honest opinion while knowing that he or she will fully appreciate the candidness. You wish that he or she was in all your project groups, so work could be done much more efficiently.

I saw my ideal project mate in Albert, whom I have already worked with on a marketing project during my first semester in university. He struck me as a humble, diligent and meticulous person. But more than anything else, it was because of the positive chemistry I shared with Albert that made me want to have him as a part of our team.

He blended in very quickly and in a matter of weeks, our team of three designed a solid business plan with clear strategies to formalise our novel idea.

3. The Other Expert (Who You May Not Know)

You have a super cool idea, but you know nothing about, say, programming. Neither does anyone on your team. What do you do?

This was our predicament — we knew nothing about building a mobile application and yet we didn’t want to settle for an average programmer. So, we asked around for the best tech guy and we were given two names from Singapore Management University.

It seemed like a crazy idea, but what we did was this: We conducted a Facebook search, printed their faces and waited for them at the lobby of SMU School of Information Systems (SMU SIS) –- the place where most IS students have to walk past every single day.

After spending some time twiddling our thumbs, we finally spotted what seemed like the first guy on the list: Eleazar.

This was it. After briefly readying ourselves, we approached him.

Me: “Hi, I am Kenny and this is Marcus. We want to start up a company that will make people want to look at advertisements. We think you are the right fit for the team; do you have five minutes to spare?”

We requested him to sign a non-disclosure form (which he did so without hesitation), shared the idea with him, shook hands and the rest was history.

To sum it up, I feel that the ideal team should fundamentally comprise of

a. A dependable friend;
b. someone you can already work well with;
c. and an expert in an area which you are clueless about.

Of course, the list is not exhaustive. You just have to find the right mix of people where everyone plays an indispensable role in achieving a specific goal.

Most importantly, do not be afraid to venture beyond your comfort zone to look for your team. So long as you’ve got an idea which you’re passionate about, act on it like what I have said in my previous post. Anything is worth a try. And it won’t be long before you will be able to relish the sweet taste of success!

Well, in any endeavour, obstacles are inevitable. For us, one came in the form of Albert’s decision to leave along the way. Still, I’d say that was one of the defining moments which made us a lot stronger. That’s a story for another day!

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