Have you ever had what you thought was a good idea but didn’t do anything about it?
Have you seen something similar years later and kicked yourself for not starting on that great idea?
The reason I ask is because this week I got talking about an old friend who is currently living in France bit-ing and bobbing for work. He is living in a small bedsit in the south of France. Apparently rental property is not cheap there and he can not afford anything bigger and more comfortable.
He is probably enjoying his life out in the sun but it could have been a lot different. He could have been running a very successful business or maybe even a YouTube channel. Several years ago we both lived in the same building. It was a block of apartments owned by a mutual friend of ours. We would regularly bump into each other in the car park and have a chat.
One day he asked me if I was interested in investing into a business idea he had and becoming part of the business. I already had too many commitments at that time and really could not spare any more time or funds on something else so I declined his kind offer.
The business idea he had involved drones, at the time I knew nothing about them, but he flew remote control planes and helicopters and drove remote control cars as a hobby so he was really clued up about them.
He told me how much they were to buy or build and how useful they would be for specific industries. His idea was to use drones fitted with high quality cameras like the Go Pro which transmitted live video to a laptop allowing him to study hard to reach areas of buildings and roofs without the need of ladders, scaffolding and safety equipment.
He could then do surveys for property owners and building companies for a fee while reducing their workload, cost and responsibility. It sounded quite viable as a business but I was not sure about drones and how popular they would be. Several years later and drones are all over the place.
They are very popular, there are drones being used on TV shows, drones are used to make popular and funny YouTube channels, drones are being used to deliver ice creams on the beach of Mablethorpe, Domino Pizzas and Amazon have tested drones for delivery services and there are now people racing drones in sporting competitions.
Drones are big business.
And guess what? I recently saw on TV a company using a drone to check out hard to reach areas of a building! It was a good business idea after all, it might have been a very profitable business.
Now before you ask; this is not about me, I have no regrets for turning down the offer. What I do want to talk about is my friend who had the idea in the first place. When he had the idea he was again bit-ing and bobbing for work. He was always skint and didn’t have any full time work. He could have really thrown himself into the new business venture… but he didn’t.
So why is he not doing this as a business?
Because I didn’t invest in the business!
One of the reasons I didn’t want to get involved is that I knew him well and he likes other people to bring the money to the table and do the work.
But he himself could have easily financed the business venture, he knew the cost of the drone, the camera and how to link it all together with the laptop. It might have been no more than £1000 to set up, especially with him being a dab hand with remote control airplanes, he could have hand built the ideal drone for a fraction of the price.
If he was short of the money he knew how much he needed and could have planned a way to start saving up for it. He could have saved the money over the period of a year and then started. It has now been several years and he has done nothing with that idea. He had the idea before drones became popular and commonplace.
Even if the business idea failed he could have done a photography business with the drone capturing great aerial shots or after spending time getting used to the drone he could have mastered it to a point that he could have been uploading great videos to YouTube making money via Google AdSense.
What is important to remember is that he had a great business idea, he had seen an opportunity before others and wanted to try it but, he didn’t because he personally failed to take action. Nothing was stopping him but himself. Even when I said no to joining him in his venture, it wasn’t the reason that he failed. He could have done it alone but he decided not to.
I cannot say where he would be now and how successful the business idea would have been but what I do know is that:
- Drones are being fitted with cameras and used a lot today to reach those hard to see places.
- Because he didn’t even make a start with the business we will just never know.
I wouldn’t be surprised though had he started the business that he would be living in a better apartment in the south of France and he wouldn’t be bit-ing and bobbing for a few Euros either.
The next time you have a big idea; maybe you should really consider taking action and turning that idea from a thought that is in your head into a real physical business or product. At least then you would know for definate whether it will be successful or not.