Financing Your Business
Turning your idea into a startup
Entrepreneurship often takes a great idea, countless hours of hard work and a passionate support team. For some, it's not even something that is planned. Many great ideas are born out of need, and entrepreneurship often follows that necessity.
That's how Katrina Boldry of Bold Lead Designs in Denver says she got started.
Boldry, who was a panelist during Denver Startup Week, was a photographer by trade. When she couldn't find a dog leash that she liked, she says she decided to create one for herself.
"I sourced some leather, some good hardware and designed it exactly the way I wanted," she said of her original design. "This worked out so well that my friends and neighbors wanted one. Everyone that saw it had to have one, so clearly I wasn't the only one with a need. That was my 'aha' moment."
Using local resources
For entrepreneurs like Boldry, having a great idea for a product or service is only a first step. She and other speakers during Startup Week encouraged the use of local community resources like the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, which offers free one-on-one consulting and training and various programs.
Similarly, Boldry said, Mi Casa in Denver provides free one-hour advisory appointments and a 13-week training course for those who already have a great idea and want to get it off the ground. The course covers everything from marketing strategy to business analysis and even the legal side of running a business.
"Mi Casa is a great resource for anyone that has never started a business before. You can utilize their entrepreneurship expertise to take your idea and actually create a business plan around it," Boldry said during her presentation. "It's even great for experienced entrepreneurs who are struggling to get over the hump and grow their business to the next level. The mentorship that you will find with Mi Casa is amazing."
Test Your Idea
Just as Boldry realized she was onto something when friends and family wanted their own versions of her dog leashes, Starup Week speakers advised using an inner circle of people who can provide valuable advice, feedback and suggestions.
Among their suggestions: If you're planning to create something for children, get local parents together to listen to their needs. If it's a product for animals, head to the local dog park or ask a veterinarian if you can survey owners.
Sean Bryant is a Denver based freelance writer specializing in travel, credit cards and personal finance.