You Have an Idea for a Business. What Do You Do Next?
You have found an exciting business idea, and you believe it will work. If you were to try it out, however, what would it involve? What steps do you take to get started?
The obvious first step would be to set out a business plan. It can be hard to know how to build such a plan. The steps below describe the process. You don’t have to follow a strict sequence of steps, however, and sometimes you may need to perform these steps concurrently.
Start by planning
You need to start by jotting down the details of your plan the moment you come up with your idea. It’s important to be clear about how plans are developed: plans are never done. You tweak them right through to the time that you’re ready to launch your business, and sometimes well after. A plan is simply a set of thoughts and ideas for a business, recorded whenever they come up in your mind.
Determine if there is a market
For a business to be successful, there have to be enough people willing to buy its product at a price that can deliver profitability. Market research is sometimes needed to uncover this type of essential information. Other times, years of experience serving the market is what’s required. Every business is different.
Some entrepreneurs can afford market research in the form of surveys and interviews. Others make use of existing research such as published data and forecasts. When neither kind of research is appropriate, some businesses simply do the research themselves. Others approach a marketing firm for help finding the information needed.
Whatever the source of your information, data is essential. It’s the only way that you can ensure that you aren’t overlooking important information. While you may never find the ultimate answer to the question of whether the size of the market justifies adding your product to the mix, you do need to do your best.
Find a way to bankroll your business idea
Depending on the business, you can fund it with your own resources, with a business loan, or with help from investors, such as institutional investors. You need to make your funding proposal a part of your initial business plan. It’s important to constantly revise this plan, however. The more you develop your initial plan, and the more you learn from your market research and other activities, the more realistic your financial plan will become.
Recruit the people that you will work with
As you become more confident about your business idea and the potential market for your product, you should begin to think about what kind of team it will take to bring your dream to reality. Your business may require production, marketing, administration, website development, legal work, and many other areas of expertise.
Once you determine that there is a market for your product, it’s important to begin developing your team. Some of your team members will be professional service providers, like a lawyer, a professional marketing team, a website development company and so on. The rest will be people you employ. As you bring people on board, you will be able to discuss your needs with them, and gain from their ideas.
Starting a business is about having a plan, moving forward, finding and overcoming challenges, and setting and reaching milestones. It is about constantly building and revising your plan. As you build out your plan, you’ll find the confidence that it takes to keep going.