Monday, April 26, 2010

The End

I must first say that having the right group is critical in order to be successful with your venture. We found out fast what each of our strengths were individually and depended on them throughout the semester. The entrepreneurial route is extremely risky but the reward outweighs the risk in more ways than just making money. What you learn and gain from the experience is something you'll never get unless you just simply do it. You learn how to test the world so to say and you push yourself to go further and further into the darker waters with the increased desire to make a profit goal. Your salesmanship skills increase quickly as you learn different strategies to make people "give in." I found that its all about the marketing and convincing people that they NEED your product. I also found that you shouldn't wait and try to plan out your ideas in depth, it was better to just take something easy and simple and go sell it asap and while you are selling and if you're failing you can easily make changes and improvements and better target markets and better understand what people want.
My advice:
Choose your team wisely...It's always good to try to improve your weaker skills, but with entrepreneurship it's better to know what your weaker skills are and find a partner who has them as their best skills. Worry about improving them later. You really need to make sure you have a good balance of skills within your group and accept that nobody's perfect and you all depend on one another.
Don't think, DO!.... Don't sit around hoping a good idea will come to you. Do a simple brainstorm of stupid ideas and then try your best to sell each one right away expecting to fail. What happens (at least for us) is you quickly learn what people are willing to buy and you can add on to the stupid idea as you go making it a better idea as you make adjustments. Our idea for wax was originally just a plan to fail at something cheap and to fail early but it was a great success.
Overall the entrepreneurial experience this semester was a positive one. It presented us with real life challenges we will need to consider in the future if we wish to start our own business. I definitely lucked out with my group in that we all got along and Jake and Kyle regularly snowboard and ski which helped our product advance so much farther than we thought. It proved one of the points we talked about this semester, you have to find your passion and spread it with others. Advice I would give would be to start early and to expect some type of failure, but don’t look at it as a bad thing. You need to take your failures and work with them to find ways to continuously improve. :)
As the previous two have mentioned, the right group was critical, and ours worked very well. Each of us shared a unique set of skills with the group, making our entrepreneurial venture a success. I look forward to pursuing entrepreneurial adventures while keeping in mind the critical lessons learned in this class and initial venture. A venture is not successful on its own, it takes time. Lots of time, and accompanying this time, it also takes patience, cooperation, perseverance, and motivation. iGroup has proven to ourselves that we have all the necessary traits to pursue a venture. This class has possibly been the most valuable learning experience during my educational career at James Madison University. Other classes have been educational, but this class requires real-world interaction and experience. It inspires students to get out and try something they believe to be a failure. Cool Wax was just that, something to get iGroup started, nothing more. Now, Cool Wax is a brand spreading across the United States, and thanks to this class will continue to do so. As I already said, this class really inspired creativity and the entrepreneurial passion in each student.

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