A new business is launched every minute in the UK, according to business support firm Informi. The number of people aspiring to be a start-up success is higher than ever and the list of business ideas is growing with the trend.
However, the difficulty of transferring those business ideas into a reality is one of the most challenging and complex processes for anyone to go through.
With this simple step-by-step guide, you should be able to steer through the intricacies of turning your idea into a concrete plan and, eventually, a legitimate business.
1. Evaluate your business ideas
While many business ideas seem completely logical at first, it can often be a vastly different prospect when transforming that idea into reality. Therefore, you must evaluate your business idea and work out whether you are needed in a specific market.
Does your idea create solutions for an existing problem that other businesses have yet to solve? How much competition will you have in your industry? Is your business idea achievable within your financial parameters?
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has this to say: “Every start-up should address a real and demonstrated need in the world. If you build a solution to a problem lots of people have, it’s so easy to sell your product to the world.”
So, be sure that your idea will stand up in the real world before making any significant moves. After all, research is key to establishing any new business plan.
2. Find and connect with your target market
If you have properly followed the aforementioned step, you should now know exactly where your business will fit in the market and you should be able to gauge the target audience that you need to be aiming for.
Jeet Banerjee, a serial six-figure entrepreneur, has some hard-hitting advice on this subject: “Nine out of ten start-ups fail, which is a harsh reality in the world of entrepreneurship. However, I believe that such a high number of start-ups fail because they do not take the right steps necessary when building their business.
“The biggest challenge people have is building something that their target audience or niche really wants.”
So the correct market research is the difference between success and failure. Do the research discover what people are looking for and the problems that they currently have, then assess how you can combat these issues via your own business idea.
This stage is all about refining your business plan so that by the time you enter the market, you are fully aware of what your clients and/or customers want from you. If manage this you’ll reap the rewards.
3. Find your finances
So you’ve cemented your business idea and have researched the market specifically. Now, it’s time to work out your finances.
First of all, how are you going to fund your start-up business? Have you saved enough money to cover all costs? Are you planning on borrowing money from a financial institution or relative? Are you looking for investors?
You must be absolutely sure that you have enough capital to stay afloat while your business finds it feet. If you have saved up enough money of your own, then great.
However, if you need to borrow money, ensure that plans have been outlaid carefully and that you know when and how you will be paying off any loans without hampering the progress of your business.
If you are looking for investors, you may need to present your business idea. If you have conducted research and know enough about your business and its potential future, then you should be fine to convince others to invest. Show your passion and don’t be afraid to demonstrate confidence in your business proposition.
Each one of these financial options has their own unique risks, so be sure that you plan for every eventuality.
4. Network, network, network
While many business newbies will take this step once their business has been launched, it is potentially far more beneficial to network before you have entered the market.
Whether this networking comes in the form of industry events, online forums or arranged discussions with those in the industry, the insights gained from this step can be incomparably valuable.
Networking allows you to get a taste of exactly how others conduct their businesses within the industry and obviously affords you the opportunity to make valuable connections that will not only be able to offer you sound advice but could also become potential clients, or even investors.
Finally, and most importantly, you will be able to tell everyone in the industry about your new business. Announcing yourself as a newcomer to the market will get people talking, not just through excitement but also through fear.
Competitors will be watching you with a close eye and that can be a really positive thing, especially if your USP is highly creative.
This may sound easy, or wholly unappealing if you are an introvert, but how you network is just as important as networking itself.
Mike Fishbein, the author of STOP Networking, has an interesting spin on this. He says: “Find ways to add value to others without expecting anything in return.
“When you do something for someone else that helps them in some way, they naturally want to reciprocate.”
So, be genuine, have faith in what you can bring to the table and make a name for yourself that people associate with being altruistic – karma really does come back around.
5. It’s time for launch
So after all of the hard work planning, researching, funding and networking, your business is ready to launch. The first few days of your business going live are key. It’s essential that your entrance to market is seamless.
Be aware and be cautious but also be passionate. This business idea has been in your head for some time now and you have taken the brave step to turn it into a reality, so trust the process and enjoy it! To finish off, here’s Winston Churchill’s weigh-in: “Never, never, never give up.”
What business ideas have you got and what are your plans to turn them into a reality? Let us know in the comments below.