It can come at any time in any location. A single thought that sends a quick pulse through your body and gets your adrenaline going.
“What if I turned “this idea” into a business?”
If there has ever happened to you, you know the sensation. And, you probably know the initial thought processes and feelings that occur immediately after it.
“What would be involved?”
“Where could I do this?”
“How would it work?”
“How much money do I need to get started?”
And the inevitable, “Can I do this???”
For many of us, our great ideas don’t get any further than the last question. That does not have to be the case, however. To understand and gauge if a business idea is a good one, you’ll want to take the time to evaluate it, do some market testing, and determine if there is a potential client base to approach.
Here Are Some Steps You Can Take to Get Started With Your Great Business Idea:
Lockdown the Details of Your Business Idea
When inspiration strikes, its rarely organized. Instead, it often hits us like a tidal wave of ideas all flooding through our brain at the same time. When this happens, the first thing you’ll want to do is start making notes.
These notes don’t have to be perfect; we’re not at the official “business plan” part yet.
Right now your goal is to get everything down on paper and out of your head. Just start writing (or typing) every idea you’re thinking, don’t worry about making it pretty. Once that is accomplished, you’ll be able to start the organization process.
As you go through your notes, begin to sort them into some basic categories such as:
- Product/Services Ideas
- Marketing Strategies
- Branding Designs (Logos, Color Palette, etc.)
This will allow you to save each idea and then set it aside until you are ready to focus on that particular subject.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Check To See How Your Idea is Different From Similar Businesses In The Area
Very few business ideas are completely original. In fact, most really good ideas come from seeing what other companies are doing and realizing how it can be done better. Then, you focus on the differences you want to create, not the similarities.
Once you’ve established the need for a different approach, you can focus on building your idea from there. If you want to be successful, do not make one of these common mistakes I discussed in this article.
Once you’ve organized your notes and looked around, you’ll want to take a look at your business idea and reduce the concept to its core trait.
This is the key feature of your entire idea free of all additional branches. The resulting main idea is what is referred to as the “Lean Business Concept.”
The idea behind the lean method of describing your business is to bring your idea down to a basic point where you can get started.
Many startups follow this method as a launch point. It helps to validate the business idea and work to gain interest in the basic product or service while keeping initial production costs low.
Usually, when a company employs “the lean” method, it will set some goals and determine a trial period to conduct the introduction of the business. At the end of the trial period, if the goals are met, the business can be expanded or altered accordingly based on the market response and feedback received.
Get Your Initial Website and Marketing Up and Running
These days not having a website can equal a death sentence to a good idea before it’s even off the ground.
To get started, register a great brandable domain name if possible. The next step would be to look for a good and reliable web designer to design your website. See if there is a web designer within your network. You can also try freelancing sites like Freelancer.com or Upwork.com.
Have him create a simple yet appealing website you can then match your other marketing designs with to begin to establish your brand.
Nowadays you can get started with a new website host for as low as $3.95 a month. I host this blog on Siteground hosting and I highly recommend them.
To get your website started, you will need a few basic items:
- Logo and Color Palette
- General Description of your Business
- Images of Products
- Product Descriptions
- Contact Info
One of the first things you’ll probably want to consider is what colors you want to be affiliated with your brand. If you don’t have any specific ideas and are planning to do your website yourself, consider looking through the templates available from the platform you’re going to use. As you look through, you will get ideas about what color combinations will work with your products. Once you’ve chosen a template, you’ll also have an instant color palette to draw inspiration from.
Next, have your logo designed. This is a key component of your marketing and should be easy to identify by your customers as yours. For tips on creating a logo for your business, check out this post by Forbes.com.
After you have your logo and template, you’ll be able to create other marketing materials that coordinate and begin establishing your brand.
Create Your Initial Marketing Plan
Having a website is great, but only if people know it’s there. This is where marketing comes in.
Some basic areas you can start your marketing are:
1. Set up Social Media accounts for your business to get attention. Start with Facebook and Twitter, and as you grow, you can add more to your list.
2. Get your friends and family involved. A quick way to get followers is by asking your friends and family to follow you and then recommend you. This not only gives you fast access to a large audience but will also begin to drive leads back to your website.
(Keeping this in mind, make sure your website is up and running before you start asking for likes)
3. Become visible to your community by giving back. This can be done a few ways:
- Donate money to a local school or cause.
- Donate some time to a local charity
- Donate some products or services to an appropriate cause.
The keyword here is DONATE. Anyone of these avenues will result in some recognition of your efforts by the locals.
Once you have a list of areas, you want to focus on your marketing, put together a plan and a timeline to establish how you’re going to accomplish each task.
Set Your Goals Then Stick To Your Guns – But Stay Adaptable
Once you have your basic idea and business plan in place, set some goals to accomplish over a specific period. Once established, make sure you keep at them.
There will be days or even weeks of frustration where you may second guess what you are doing. Keep going and make a note of the feedback and results.
That being said, pay attention to the feedback you are getting, it will be a good sounding board to determine where you may need to adjust your plan slightly to accomplish more or even simplify your efforts. Your great business idea may not be as perfect as what you think. Make sure that you are open to making changes if necessary.