Every successful business starts with a great idea. However, a great idea is just an idea until you take the steps to turn that idea into a business. These tips from Moms Exchange can help you get started turning your idea into a successful startup.
1. Do Your Research
The first step is to make sure your idea is actually marketable. This requires market research. Identify what the need for your product or service is and who needs it. Research who else is already meeting that need and how you can do it differently or better. Do pricing research to determine how much your target market is willing to pay you to meet their needs.
2. Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is one of the most beneficial steps you can take to set yourself up for success. A clear plan helps you assess how likely your business is to be profitable, giving you an idea of what your start-up costs are going to be and how much money you are going to need to raise. A strong business plan is also a critical tool for convincing lenders and investors to fund your business. With your plan, you can develop your marketing strategy and identify potential risks so that you can mitigate them.
3. Fund Your Business
It is hard to start any successful business without startup funding. You can try soliciting funds from friends and family; however, make sure they understand the risk. You don’t want to ruin relationships if you can’t pay the money back. Small business loans are another option, but traditional lenders are often hesitant to loan money to new business owners. You may have more success with online lenders.
Bootstrapping involves using your personal funds to start your business. This may include cash from your savings, credit cards, lines of credit or personal loans. This is a risky method because if your business doesn’t succeed, you could end up losing everything. Crowdfunding is another popular option; however, with government data indicating more than 440,000 businesses are started every month in the U.S., there is a lot of competition for funds. Grants from the Small Business Administration and other organizations can be a big help. Finally, you can try to attract investors by putting together a good sales pitch.
4. Consider Going Back to School
Not everyone who has a great idea for a business knows a lot about actually running a business. Returning to school to get an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, can provide you with the knowledge base you need to successfully run a business. Joining an online MBA program is a good way to build your skills in areas such as accounting, corporate finance, economics and strategic planning. Because many online programs can be completed on your schedule, you can continue working while you get your education.
5. Try a Side Hustle
You may not be completely ready to seize the opportunity to launch your startup, and it’s OK to take it slow. If you want to give your idea a test drive before you jump fully into starting a new business, consider making it your side hustle while you continue to work a regular job or go to school.
Having a great idea puts you a step ahead of the competition when it comes to starting a new business. With hard work and careful planning, you can turn that idea into reality