You Have A Great Business Idea. What Now?
A great idea may strike you as a flash of inspiration while you are taking a shower, falling asleep, shopping for groceries, or driving down the road. You may be excited and would have an urge to drop everything else and start working on your creative idea. But it is better to think rationally and assess and authenticate your business idea before launching it. So, if you have an extremely creative idea for your business, then read the following steps to transform your dream idea into a reality.
1. Market research:
There is a possibility that your brilliant new idea may not be truly original. But this does not mean that you should drop your idea of a new business plan. Instead, find out ways through which you can provide a new market share or try to provide a better service than people who are currently offering it. For this purpose, you have to make a complete analysis of your competitors. Make a list of them and jot down their strengths and weaknesses. Find out what products they sell, their pricing policies, prominence, financial status, channels of distribution and other factors that can influence your business. Moreover, investigate the market areas in which they operate, their strategies, and the threats and opportunities they can create for your business.
Remember, for a successful business, you have to make changes and offer something extraordinary.
The next step to transform your dream idea into a reality is to write a business plan. So, you have to dig down the details to define your basic business plan. At this point, you do not have to write down an entire business plan, but you have to start with the basic ideas. It will help you to stay focused on your goals and can give your partners and investors a vivid idea about your business plan. So, ask yourself the following questions while you are formulating your business plan:
- What products or services you prefer to sell?
- Who will be your intended clients?
- How will you attract the clients?
- What will be your sales and marketing strategies?
- What will be the expenditure of your business?
- How will your business generate revenue streams?
- What further research is necessary to create a successful business?
- What type of branding elements will be considered? Will it be worthy, swift and beneficial?
As you move ahead in planning your business, keep this information near to you so that you can refer it whenever the need arises. It can be updated, revised and altered, but it will encourage you to remain focused.
3. Build your platform:
It may be a little early for you to create a business page, but you can start acquainting with communities and leaders who may support your product and services. Start developing good friendships, which will help you to set your foot within this community. Do not acquaint yourself as an entrepreneur, but portray your genuine interest and be noteworthy. You have to present yourself in a professional way and so avoid cracking jokes that may represent you negatively. Be respectful while addressing to people and have a responsive and friendly attitude while approaching others. Remember, the prime aim is to build your personal brand and your ultimate business appearance.
4. Investigate funding:
In the beginning, every startup will require funds to run their business. So, you have to investigate various sources that can grant you a feasible amount of money and consider the best among them that may serve you the most.
- Traditional lending through banks: Banks usually ask for a proper business plan before they lend you a loan, especially to people who have no experience at all. Banks can be the best funding source, as they may offer you best loan terms.
- Alternative lending: Alternative lenders usually provide loans to small businesses, but with less paperwork. However, their loan provisions may not be as beneficial as bank loan terms. So, you should read the agreement judiciously before taking any decisions.
- Grants or rewards: Many small business development centers and local business competitions with angel investors aim to support the new entrepreneurs to start their new business. So, search for your local business development center who will help you in attaining grants and rewards from suitable sources.
- Crowdfunding: You may achieve success with Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaigns that may help you to collect micro-donations for running your business. However, before you approach these funding sources, you need to examine successful campaigns cautiously and determine how your business idea will benefit from such a platform.
Once you are confident about all the steps mentioned above, then you are ready to turn your dream idea into reality.