Before you start taking your business idea seriously, make sure it’s actually feasible. You don’t want to invest money in ideas that seem like good concepts but can’t be put into action because there is no way to market them or supply yourself with what they are selling.
It’s also important to know whether your concept will work for others. If yours seems too simple or easy to implement, then people may not trust it or feel intimidated by it.
If this sounds familiar, you are probably thinking about starting your own business!
Many entrepreneurs struggle with coming up with their business plan until later stages of development. Starting off with the brainstorming stage can help you focus only on whether your concept is viable and achievable.
Prepare a business plan
Before you take your idea seriously, you must have an actual business model! A business model is what makes it possible for you to produce your product or service and make money. It is crucial that you know what your business model is before moving forward.
If you want to run your own coffee shop, you will need to know how to prepare drinks first! While most people may be able to do this if they worked in a restaurant, most people can’t start a coffee business unless they can actually MAKE COFFEE!
You would not go into business selling books without knowing how to write, so why should starting a business be any different?
Luckily, there are many free resources available online and through community groups where you can learn about business models. Many of these tools even allow you to create your own as well!
Business plans are only appropriate once you have validated your concept and business model, however. You should never spend hours creating a business plan you are certain won’t work because then you wasted your time!
Plan out a timeline instead by doing some research and talking to potential customers or investors about your ideas, see what works and what does not, and determine when/if it is feasible to launch.
Examine your financial situation
Before you take any steps towards starting up your business, you need to make sure that you have enough money to fund it. You will want to make sure that you are able to pay for all of the initial costs of establishing your business as well as paying yourself an adequate salary once you get going.
It is very common to start getting excited about launching your new business only to be derailed by lack of funds. It’s best to get these things done in stages so that you do not launch with no income!
By being aware of your current finances, you can also determine if this is truly the right time to begin investing in your business. If you feel like you don’t have much money left over at the end of each day, then perhaps now isn’t the ideal time to invest in your business.
Establish your company’s structure
The next major step in business planning is establishing the structure of your company! This includes who will do what, how you will organize people, supplies, and files, as well as where all these things will go.
It can be tricky to know the best organization structure for your business, so don’t worry about that- just focus on creating an organizational system that works for you at this stage.
By thinking through the different areas of your business and determining which positions need to exist, you have already done most of the hard work!
After all, if you are able to identify the position openings, then you have already started by yourself. By doing this, you have created an internal structure for your business that can help it run more efficiently later.
Register your business
Now that you have an idea, are prepared to launch, and gathered all of your resources, it is time to register your business! This includes creating a business name, picking a business structure (sole proprietor, partnership, etc.), determining if you need licenses or registrations for your business, and finalizing your tax identification information.
Many states offer free business registration services through their Department of Revenue. Make sure to check out the state laws before registering anywhere, however, so as not to incur any expensive fees.
Business owners typically use a third party tool to help them with this process. There are many online tools that can walk you through each step clearly, efficiently, and at a very low cost.
Some examples of these types of sites are Xero, Freshbooks, and PayPal who has a Business Account option. Many times, such software will even take care of most of the other steps like listing your business on Google+, having a website using their service, and more!
These apps make the process easy and seamless which helps fuel future success for your new company.
Having a business means it will likely add responsibilities to your life, which can be fun if you take time to enjoy them. However, protecting what you have invested in your business requires adequate coverage that is appropriate for your industry and level of profit-making.
Business owners often forget about their liability coverages when they first start out. It is important to have comprehensive policies with sufficient limits designed to protect yourself from lawsuits. You do not want to run out of money due to negligence or fraud!
General liability covers things like product defects and negligent services and/or training. Errors and omissions (E&O) policy covers acts such as negligence or intentional wrongdoing during the performance of professional duties.
In addition to these two types of coverage, many businesses also need workers’ compensation insurance. This covers medical bills and income replacement benefits for employees who are injured on the job.
Running an uninsurance enterprise may seem scary at first, but this article has all the information you need to know about how to launch and maintain a successful business without coverage.
Conduct market research
Before you begin taking your business idea seriously, do some preliminary work to make sure it will actually work. This includes conducting market research to see if there are already ways to do what you want to do and whether there is enough demand for your product or service.
It’s very common to start talking about your business plan before you have done any significant planning. You might talk yourself into thinking that people will listen as you discuss your ideas, but they won’t.
If you really wanted to get into the wrestling business, then you should have made up your mind that you were going to be investing in equipment, training facilities, referees and so on well ahead of time.
You need to know what you are working with upfront! The same goes for launching a new business. Make a list of all the things you need to spend money on – infrastructure like offices and shopping centres, professional services such as lawyers and accountants, technology such as phones and computers, marketing materials and more.
Then check out how much of this you can access easily without spending a lot of money. What apps, software and other resources can you use free of charge or at heavily discounted prices? If you can’t find anything worth having, don’t invest in those things yet!
Take your time doing these steps, because you will lose sleep if you rush them.
Choose your team
Choosing your business partners is one of the most important things you will do as an entrepreneur. You want to make sure they are both trustworthy and willing to put in the effort that’s needed to succeed together.
As much as it sounds fun having a party, working with people is not always a walk in the park.
By now, you’ve probably realized that succeeding as a businessman isn’t easy. Running into trouble and setbacks are part of the process.
Throwing around money and investing in ideas is also something that can cost you heavily. Part of being successful as a business owner is knowing when to take risks and when to protect yourself.
It’s great to have dreams and hopes for what you want your life to be but living those dreams requires work, perseverance, and protecting yourself from potential failure.
Write your company’s mission and vision
Your business’s mission is what it was designed to do, and its vision is how you want it to function in the future. Having these two pieces of information makes for a good start when taking your business idea from concept to reality.
Your mission should tell people why your business exists – this removes the need to explain later. Your market audience will know why you exist and what you offer once you have your mission written down.
Your business’s vision sets up goals for your organization – it looks at the bigger picture. This way of thinking about your organization uses no word other than goal.
A simple dream or hope for the future can be turned into a goal with the right process and implementation. A business vision includes things like achieving profitability, expanding services, and having a positive impact on others and the community.