You say you have an idea to sell. You say it’s a really unique idea. You also say no one else does it. If you run it by John Wyman, chances are he may ask if you’ve researched your idea. He may tell you that your industry is full of vendors selling your idea “because there are a few barriers for entry into the market.” He may tell you “you must define your niche.” Then he may ask you to sell him your idea.

Let’s say you want to fix computers. He’ll ask you to convince him to switch from IYOGI and do business with you. “Uh,” you say, offering the first thing that comes to your mind. “Well, I’m good at fixing computers.” Uh, try again.” He’ll argue that IYOGI and GeekSquad are already in your marketplace, are successful at fixing computers —- and they are a 24/7 operation. “What can you do to convince me?” he will ask.

You may have never heard of him but Wyman is an American Army veteran, retired AT&T executive and he ran his own small business. He was an international process re-engineering consultant.

He and his colleague, Alan Fenwick are both volunteer SCORE mentors. They both have experience starting and growing their own small businesses. And Wyman has spent ten years teaching their “Fast Entrepreneur” course at Durham Tech for people who want to grow a business.

The course is designed as an experiential learning course — and its instructors are serious about helping you start your own business. “Do some thinking — and define your concept,” says Wyman. “I’ve learned a heck of a lot on why businesses fail. If you want to succeed, then you must begin with a business concept.” That, and commit today, tomorrow and every day.