8 Steps to Turn Your Small Business Idea Into a Reality
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- 8 Steps to Turn Your Small Business Idea Into a Reality
- For anyone who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to think your idea could be the next big thing. Here, we offer eight crucial steps to take an idea and turn it into a successful, real-world business.
- Be it a passion, a daily problem you face, or simply a great idea, new business concepts can come from almost anywhere. Define your idea in one sentence — this is your starting point. But don’t get too attached, because what you’ve written down may change as you take your idea through the remaining steps. 01. Define Your Idea
- 02. Dive Into High-Level Research Researching your business idea is essential to its viability and success. While there are many ways to perform market research, make sure to: • Become good friends with Google: Do a deep Internet search on your concept. Make sure it doesn’t already exist. If it does, find out what’s working and how you can offer something unique. • Talk to real people: Simple but necessary. Reach out to current businesses in your industry and people who might be your future customers. This step will give you valuable insight and data.
- While you may be an expert in one area of your industry, it may help to choose a business approach that allows you to partner with others in areas where you aren’t as knowledgeable. Based on your expertise and what you will need to learn to bring your idea to market, opt for one of the following approaches: • The apprentice model: Become an apprentice in your industry. With this all-hands-on-deck approach, you’ll gain direct insight into how your business might function. • The hired-gun approach: Instead of taking on your idea yourself, partner with experts who already have in-depth knowledge and experience in your future industry. • The DIY method: Tackle your idea all on your own by testing and retesting your model based on the knowledge you already have. 03. Choose an Approach For Your Business
- 04. Determine Your Needs (and What They Will Cost) Define every need associated with your business idea. Start by listing items that will be considered your hard costs, such as special software, and then list your soft costs, such as consultants or legal fees.
- 05. Outline Your Target Customer A well-defined target market will help you create a product that has a specific end user in mind. Start by analyzing the customers of your competitors. How will your target customer differ from theirs? Based on that information and your product or service, choose specific demographics and psychographics that apply to your ideal customer. For example, the target customer for an all-natural, high-end candle company might be: • 32–50 years old • Lives in Santa Monica, California • Female • Prefers to purchase things that are organic or all-natural • Frequents the beach • Loves participating in outdoor activities • Practices interior design as a hobby
- 06. Develop a Prototype Create a prototype of your product or service. Start with a mock-up or outline and work from there. This will help you determine if there are any red flags associated with your idea.
- 07. Establish a Funding Plan Now that you have a better idea of what your business is, who your customers are and what it will cost to make your idea a reality, it’s time to figure out where the money will come from. There are a number of routes you can take here such as bootstrapping your business, crowdfunding or opting for investor financing. http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/how-i-successfully-self-funded-my-small-business-crossfit-460.html?cid=SM:SBD:SUCCEED:ISELFFUNDSMBCROSSFIT:20151001:EVENT http://www.slideshare.net/SUCCEEDStaples/10-tips-for-a-successful-crowdfunding-campaign http://www.slideshare.net/SUCCEEDStaples/7-musthaves-for-an-investor-pitch-deck
- 08. Build It and Set It Free Build a minimum viable product for your business and set it out into the world with a soft launch. While you may want to wait for your product or service to be absolutely perfect, it’s essential to realize that perfection comes over time. Continue to refine your concept based on feedback that the market inevitably supplies.
- Advice Action Inspiration There’s no time like the present to get your idea off the ground. Even small steps forward are steps in the right direction. Set a schedule for yourself that includes the eight tips listed in this SlideShare. This is a good way to hold yourself accountable for moving your idea forward. “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” — Michael Dell, CEO and chairman of Dell