Every business idea starts with an idea. A light bulb goes on in your mind and you get a flash of an idea about how to answer a problem or about a new concept or product.
Click. There it is.
You’ve just had what you initially think is a million dollar idea. But how do you get from “business idea” to stating a business that makes money? How do you properly analyze and flesh out the initial idea and create a business plan that will serve as a solid platform from which to actually launch the enterprise? So many questions.
But that is just the beginning. For every great business idea, certain questions must be asked: What is the audience for such an idea? What would the target audience be willing to pay for such an idea? What’s the competition? What is the potential? How do you protect the idea from would-be knock-offs? What are the business risks, either for the product or the technology? What are the market risks?
I seem to get ideas for a new business almost every day, I think because when I look around I se so many things that can be improved upon, or should be created that I think would be helpful. I ask myself how can I improve people’s lives and help them? Inspiration for ideas are literally everywhere: In daily routine, surfing the web, running or working in a business, in what other people say and think. But for me that’s not the issue. My main concern when critically thinking about it is how to actually start a viable business that has a sustainable monetary model and that fits my vision and lifestyle.
Rarely do I get an idea that I would consider remarkable. That is not a big deal, though. I’ve realized that most of my business ideas start and then evolve over time. Business ideas are always in a state of evolution, but the business goal must always stays the same. Strategies change but when revenue models are clearly identified, things get crystal clear, because after all, the whole point of a business is to make money.
Developing a successful business model involves every piece of the business plan. Organizing all of the ideas and making them all work together is vital. What are the financial considerations? What is the target market? What is the acquisition cost of each customer and lifetime profitability from each customer? What is the cost of making the product or providing the service? Answering all of these questions are imperative but the journey is just starting because then you have to assemble a team to help you build a prototype and actually start the business. And if everything works, then you have to run it.
The Next Step: Marketing & Beyond
Once the the product is ready, it will be time to take it to market. How you do that is critical. Marketing is a challenge in and of itself. Fortunately, in the internet age you can largely do this yourself, and, with a little guidance achieve some fairly significant results. The world if full of examples and inspiration. I really get a kick out of seeing someone create something out of nothing but an idea and a dream and then succeed. Sometimes doing just this is its own reward.
One of the most inspirational things I’ve seen is the story of an African boy, who at age 14, in poverty and famine, built a windmill to power his family’s home. William Kamkwamba, gave a TED Talk and in his own words describes the moving tale of invention that changed his life.
There are lots of great resources online to help you. Some are free and some are paid. Getting help is important because there aren’t many who were born with all of the answers. I personally love thinking and creating, but always the challenge is in the doing part. I have got some really great help from online courses such as Udemy, as well as ongoing training and resources from the online community at Wealthy Affiliate.
Online courses and training resources can offer invaluable help for a great deal of the ways to start a business, but it really comes down to ones resolve and focus. Starting a business, wether online or as a bricks-and-mortar enterprise is a feat of pure will power. When you start something new, its a bit of an endurance test, and getting the validation for your idea from others can be difficult, especially if you are surrounded by neigh-sayers. In William Kamkwamba’s words: “Trust yourself and never give up.”
My advice is to develop a strong and succinct business plan and crystallize the concept, goals and step by step action you plan to take to turn a dream into a reality. If you need any help starting something for yourself or have any comments or suggestions, let me know.