Getting Your Business Idea off the Ground
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Fred Smith. Just a few of the business leaders who started their careers with merely an idea and a dream. Do you have an amazing idea for business that you would like to see grow into fruition? Great! Unfortunately, having a brilliant business idea is only the first step on a long road to getting your thoughts turned into profits. The sobering truth is that it takes, capital, business know-how, organization, and a ton of hard work. How did the great business entrepreneurs do it? What was their secret to getting their business idea off the ground? Let’s look at some tips and suggestions from Forbes, Inc Online, and other business leaders as to how they managed to take their idea and turn it into reality.
- Research – Just like you did before you started a big project in grade school, research should always be the first step in any business proposition. Before you start developing your core business idea do some market research. What other companies have a similar product or service? What do they do that works/doesn’t work? What type of audience do you think your idea would appeal to? Research if there would be a need or niche market for your product/service. During this process you will find out about pricing, potential partnerships, capital needed and the never-ending minutia of the business.
- A Plan – Once you have done some very thorough background research, you will want to solidify the idea you have into a business plan. This formal or informal plan can be used to gather investors or grow support for your idea.
- A Prototype – Whether your idea includes something tangible (like a product) or intangible (like a service) you will want to have something to show supporters, partners or investors. This may mean you have to build the object or possibly create a website for the service.
- FUNDS! – Finding the right investors or bank to support your business idea may seem daunting but now that you have the research and plan under your belt this is not be as hard as you imagine. There are a large number of options to consider when dealing with needed capital for your idea. The Small Business Association in your area may be a big help in pointing you toward an institution that can help you. There are also other ideas such as bank loans (especially local), crowdfunding(like kickstarter) , Bootstrapped businesses or possibly by finding investors willing to be partners or supporters of your idea.
- Legalities – Yes, there are always legalities involved in setting up a new business or launching a business idea. As early in the process as you can, seek counsel who can guide you through the process of the legalities associated with your idea such as insurance, a tax id, a business license and so on.
- Marketing – Once you have your ducks all in a row you will want to come up with a marketing strategy and plan how you will spend your marketing budget. Some people prefer to outsource this at the beginning to a consultant who can get you going and fast! You will need a PR campaign and someone who knows how to use traditional and digital media to attract attention to your business.
Taking your amazing idea and making it a reality doesn’t have to be scary or daunting but rather a step-by-step process that can be exciting an thrilling.