1. Write down your idea
It all starts with an idea. Take some time while your idea is fresh to write down the general concept of your business. What is the main idea of the business? What are you selling and to whom? Why do you think it is a good business idea? What need does it satisfy in the marketplace and how do you know? Do you have a practical experience that triggered the idea for this business idea? Your general concept can be just a paragraph. In a few days take a look at what you have written. Does it still make sense? If not, how can you further refine your idea?
2. Research your concept
Preliminary research will help you determine the feasibility of your business idea. Who is likely to buy your product or service? Use the Internet to search for similar ideas or businesses. Is your concept unique or is it a variation on something that exists in the marketplace? If not, that is not a game breaker. You may still have a worthwhile business concept. Test out your concept on family and friends or if you can with people who would fit the demographic of your targeted consumer or business. Is it still a good idea? Now you can more on to the next step — writing your business plan.
3. Write a simple business plan
Some wanna-be entrepreneurs get business cards, a starter website, invest in products or equipment for a business, all without a business plan. Basically these businesses are operating off of a whim, not a solid business plan. These businesses won’t last because they are not built on a solid foundation.
Business plans are intimidating to new-preneurs because of the research aspect and the delay in getting started because you take time to flush out the concept into a workable business idea. Writing a full-fledged business plan can be intimidating. But the business plan does not have to be overwhelming.
Follow a simple outline carefully work through each section. A good business plan will also be a sound basis for receiving bank financing, investors – even if they are family and friends. Here’s an outline to follow:
- Executive Summary
- Market Plan
- Capability Statement
- Business Fact Sheet
Read my book, The Intentional Consultant for more guidance on developing the business plan and starting a new business.
4. Get started now!
If you’ve got the idea for your business, get started on your business right away – don’t delay. The business plan is your roadmap and you can take action by writing a few business goals and objectives and get to work. Follow these steps and you will be on your for making your dream into a reality.