Many of us have dreams, but when it comes to business, only a few of us really have the bravery to take them to reality.
This is not a criticism or a surprise, either. After all, the failure rates of new businesses are daunting to say the least – and giving up a full-time, salaried position for an uncertain future is something that many of us just can’t envisage ever doing.
Based on the above, today’s guide will look at some steps you can take to turn your startup idea into a reality. Hopefully, by the end of the proceedings, you’ll be in a position where you can at least understand the roadmap of your new, potential business.
Make sure you validate your business idea
Like most things in business, this is certainly a case of easier said than done. However, the benefits of validating your business idea before you get up and running are twofold. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll give your business the strongest financial chance of success. Secondly, it’s about you. If you’ve validated your idea, you’ll have the courage to make the bold moves often needed in those early days.
So, what does it mean to validate a business idea? Essentially, it comes down to two key things – customer demand and a route to market. In other words, you need to be able to answer the following questions;
- Is there a need or a want for my product or service?
- Who are my potential customers?
- How will I reach them?
If you can answer these three questions, you’re well on your way to validation.
Do your research
You should do this throughout the business validation process, but it’s worth mentioning as a separate point.
To validate your business idea, you’ll need to do a fair amount of primary and secondary research.
Primary research is all about getting first-hand experience and insights. This could be anything from interviews and surveys to focus groups and test markets.
Secondary research is all about using existing data and research that’s already out there. This might include trade association reports, government statistics and data, and industry white papers.
Your research should aim to build a comprehensive picture of your target market – who they are, what they want, and how you can reach them.
Create a business plan
Once you’ve done your research and are confident that your business idea is viable, it’s time to start developing a business plan.
This doesn’t need to be a lengthy, formal document, but it should be a clear and concise overview of your business, aims, target market, and route to market.
Here, you need to take a super-granular analysis of what’s ahead. For example, if you’re planning to become a personal trainer, you should take time to learn what your costs are and which of these will be allowed as a business expense. This will allow you to understand how profitable your business truly is.
Your business plan can be an essential tool in helping you to secure investment, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
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