Your business idea might be rick solid, but your bank account is dead empty, While the inspiration you have a is a great start for a new venture, you need to find a way to take your idea from a dream to a reality. Successful businesses aren’t born overnight. It takes commitment, research, discipline, planning, and lots of money to make it happen. You might be ready to hop into entrepreneurship and business management, but you will never end up like successful businessman and entrepreneurial investor Mark Stevens unless you take his advice to start slow and form a plan. Not just for the money end of things, but for the whole business idea. You can start forming your plan with these four easy steps.
1. Ask for Advice
Talk to the great businessmen in operation today. They can let you know if your plan is truly a great idea or if the reality of your goals is that it isn’t viable in today’s market. Of course, you are in love with your idea, but you need an objective opinion to let you know your chances of success or failure before investing time, energy, and resources into something that will never develop into a business. Use another entrepreneur or businessman as a mentor, but choose one that has been successful. You need an honest opinion of the services or product you intend to sell, just as you need an honest presentation about what your entrepreneurial journey will look like. If you don’t have anyone already in your contact list, start networking through your community’s local events or Chamber of Commerce meetings. Some of the larger cities have mentoring programs or innovations labs where you can connect with a potential investor or seasoned entrepreneur that is more than willing to share knowledge and advice. Don’t think you can do it on your own. Reach out get another’s opinion before getting started.
2. Do the Homework
You may be thrilled with your product idea, but that doesn’t mean the consumer is going to need it or want it. Locating your target market is an important part of turning your idea into a full-fledged business. You need to ask yourself some questions as you seek out the best demographic for your product. This part of the homework needs to be as detailed as possible, as it will come in handy when you are ready to start marketing campaigns. Consider who you want to use your product. What is the age or educational level? Is there a gender preference? Is there a specified income tier that you are looking for? Find out if anyone has an interest in your potential product through informal focus groups, social media surveys, or chatting with people that fall into your selected target market. Your analysis cannot be based on assumptions. You need data to help you determine the pitfalls or opportunities of the market. One of the best and easiest to use platforms for up and coming entrepreneurs is Google Analytics. You can also gather data from industry associations, government statistics, chamber of commerce reports, universities, online business databases, or financial and business services.
3. Choose Your Financial Path
Your research will illuminate the reality of your idea and in doing so, you will have a more complete understanding of how much capital you will need to start your business. There are many startup funding options, but you can’t effectively raise money unless you know how much you need and how you will use it. Your plan or strategy for the money should include more than just the initial launch costs, as you will need to think ahead on your marketing budget, seasonal inventory purchases, employee training, business insurance, and office equipment. If you are working with a mentor, you can get a better idea of how far your funds can go, especially if you prioritize spending. Being able to show investors where you are going to use the money is part of your business plan, and although it might seem intimidating, it provides the detailed snapshot investors need to know whether your business is worth the risk. Your plan should include the target market analysis, the information about your products, the financial plan, and funds allotment. You can state your needs and vision concisely, as long as you have well-researched data for your potential investor to assess.
4. Consider All Sources
When it comes to investment potential, there are a number of options you can pursue. You can look at a major corporation that offers entrepreneurial contests, or you can try to find a private investor like Mark Stevens that works in the area of your business idea. You may also need to take a business loan through the Small Business Administration or other financial lenders in order to secure the capital to get up and running.5.Step 4: Enter a contest