As we reach Week 5 of Cohort 6 on Elevator’s Accelerator Programme in Elevator's Aberdeen Centre for Entrepreneurship, we hear from Daryll Morrow, Co-Founder of Udrafter, an online platform where people and businesses can post one-off jobs to be completed by students on demand.
Udrafter provides flexible work for students where they can make quick cash and people or businesses can hire students at short notice to free up their time. Daryll tells us about his Accelerator experience so far...
DARYLL MORROW - UDRAFTER
The last 4 weeks of my life have been insanely busy, stressful, but incredibly insightful and enjoyable. Starting your own business is easy...said no one ever.
I am a Founder on Cohort 6 on the Elevator Accelerator Programme in Aberdeen along with 8 other start-up businesses. I thought it would be a good idea to spend 15 minutes or so on documenting what my first 4 weeks on the programme were like, and how I can maybe enlighten others who are thinking of taking a similar route.
First of all, the title 'Accelerator Programme', does exactly what it says on the tin.
There is absolutely no waiting around for people who are not motivated or passionate about growing and scaling their start-ups. Over the last 4 weeks, the Cohort has been working incredibly hard to sculpt and refine their business models to fundamentally establish the minimum viable product (MVP) of their business. The business model canvas (BMC) has been a great tool for mapping this out, and this was something I have also used at University which was very handy.
By using the BMC I was able to clearly identify the core value proposition I am looking to give my target beachhead market. I was then able to specify what digital channels I would use to deliver my MVP to my customers, what relationship I will have with them, and how I will generate revenue. Moreover, the BMC enabled me to highlight what key resources and key activities are indispensable for me to deliver the VP to my customers. In order to leverage the business further, I mapped out what potential partners I could collaborate with to streamline business processes further.
Meeting Gyles Brandreth at the first Business Gateway #GONetwork event:
Validating The Idea
The next part was actually validating my assumptions about what I thought the market 'needed'. This is the scary part. What happens if no one wants my product/service? or my assumptions about what I thought they felt/needed were pretty far off? Although scary at first, this process was vital to test the robustness of my model. It gave me the necessary tools to pivot and modify the plan, which ultimately made it stronger.
Although scary at first, this process was vital to test the robustness of my model. It gave me the necessary tools to pivot and modify the plan, which ultimately made it stronger.
You might not have a lot of cash or capital to lift the business off the ground, but I guarantee that an Accelerator Programme (or similar) will pay huge dividends for your business. As they say
"test or fail fast, then move onto the next opportunity"
My Main Points
- Ideas have no value. Execution is everything.
- Stop thinking and talking about doing something. Be disciplined and get things done straight away. This saves time in the long run, and you'll notice almost straight away how productive you are... and yeah, it feels good!
- Network, network network. This is something I am still adapting to every day, but its an amazing way to business develop, create leads and build relationships.
- Test your idea as much as you can in the real world to see if there is a quantifiable business opportunity in the market.
- Make Mondays your Friday afternoon. I honestly look forward to Mondays now, because I can attack the week with something I feel truly passionate about.
- Jump straight in and take risks. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, so say yes and build your own adventure trail. Often when you say no to things, nothing happens, nothing changes, and you lose momentum.
- When someone tells you "NO", stay positive and read it as "Next Opportunity".
Thanks for reading my first article, and hopefully I can get another one up in the next 4 weeks after phase 2!