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INVENTOR'S CHECKLIST
THE RESOURCES

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU REQUIRE, WHAT DO YOU HAVE AND WHERE ARE THE GAPS?

The objective of this module is to understand what resources you will need to develop the idea into a business, and how the business will obtain those resources ,whether this relates to:

  • Starting your business
  • Developing your product or service
  • Undertaking your customer research
  • Market and competitor analysis
  • Sales delivery and customer support

It should be noted that this module, “The Market Approach” module and “The People” module have a bearing on each other.

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED?

There are a number of resources that are required to develop your idea into a business.

The resources you require will be specific to your idea but will usually include a broad spectrum these categories:

  • Financial resources
  • Skills/ Knowledge
  • Time
  • Software
  • Other resources specific to your idea

As you can see you need much more than just money. In order to turn your idea into a business you need a wide spectrum of resources. Being aware of what exactly you need and when you need it will allow you to plan ahead.

EXERCISE 1 - WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED?

Exercise Template (Download)

For each stage in the commercialisation process, think about the specific requirements you have in order to turn your idea into reality. What do you need in terms of financial resources - how much money do you need? What skills do you need - sales, marketing, accounting, technical skills? Do you require specifc premises such as an industrial kitchen or warehouse, or a particular tool which will allow you to sell online? How much money do you have access to for investing in your business?

Use the template provided to draw up a list of requirements. Once you have done this, put the requirements in an order or importance, identifying what you need right now and what you will need later on.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXISTING RESOURCES?

Consider the following questions in relation to your idea:

  • What resources are you willing to dedicate to your idea? (Time, money, skills, learning etc.)
  • What is your team willing to dedicate to your idea? (Time, money, skills, learning etc.)
  • What business assets already exist? (Products, processes, expertise, materials, systems, prototypes etc.)
  • When are all these resources available?
EXERCISE 2 - WHAT ARE YOUR EXISTING RESOURCES?

Exercise Template (Download)

Revisit the list you drew up in Exercise 1 and identify the resources you already have or have access to.

RESOURCE GAPS

Resource gaps are not a bad thing. It is very unlikely that you will have everything in place already or that you can actually do everyhing yourself from the outset.

Having an understanding of what resources you lack will help you plan and put together a realistic action plan or roadmap to get you to where you need to be, whether this involves getting training yourself, bringing onboard other people, buying machinery or raising external funding.

BRIDGING THE RESOURCE GAP

Different types of resource gaps can be resolved in different ways.

Tangible resources

For example: materials, machinery and premises

Solution: buying, renting, leasing, licensing, borrowing

Intangible resources

For example: specialist knowledge, skils, intellectual property

Solution: training and learning skills/ spealist knowledge yourself, hiring staff with relevant knowledge and skills, licensing intellectual property, outsourcing to third party with relevant skills and knowledge, working with speacilst mentors and advisors

EXERCISE 3 - BRIDGING THE RESOURCE GAP

Based on Exercises 1 and 2 it should be clear where the gaps are. In Exercise 1 you listed all the requirements, while in Exercise 2 you identified those resources you have or have access to.

What you need to do now is focus on the gaps, where there is a requirement which you can't currently meet, and think about how best to solve them. Using the template provided, draw up a list of your resource gaps and decide how you will solve them.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Money isn’t everything. But it is likely to be the main resource which you will need to help move your idea into reality. While most resource gaps can be reduced to a financial amount (the cost of buying the resource) this is often a very expensive and impractical route in the early stages of building a business.

Finding other ways of addressing the gap is important.

There are a number of financial resources that you may need to consider in the development of your idea. Examples of sources of finance includes:
  • Friends and family.
  • Public sector grant support – revenue and capital.
  • Investment funding – equity and loan from public sector / private sector / banks.
  • Fiscal support – R&D tax credits.
  • Banks.
  • Crowd funding (An interesting example of this is Scottish company ‘BrewDog’ – see CrowdFund Insider’s article for further information on their financial model).
It’s important to get the right funding for your business. Before you apply for funding or grants, you should consider:
  • How much money you need.
  • Why you need it.
  • How long you need it for.
As part of the process of applying for funding you should:
  • Listen. if you are rejected, the reason can point you to the solution.
  • Approach multiple sources of funding.
  • Be prepared to negotiate / deal.
  • Be aware that seeking funding takes substantial effort and time.
A complete list of funding and grant schemes can be found at