Maybe you have been on furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic and had plenty of time to think. Maybe, during one of those thinking moments, a little spark happened in your head. A fleeting idea, perhaps. A musing, or an ‘I wonder if that would actually work’ moment.
Sometimes, it is those bright sparks in the middle of the night, on that bike ride or jog, or while you’re watching yet another episode of that series on Netflix that can found something pretty awesome and successful.
If you have something you think is a good business idea, read on to find out more about how to set it alight and turn it into something that can make you money.#
Talk to someone you trust about it
If you have an idea of a venture that you think has real potential, do not keep it to yourself! Share it with someone you trust to help you refine and strengthen your vision, especially if they are in your target demographic. Make sure you ask the following questions: do you think this business idea has potential? How can I flesh it out? Is it a product or a service that you would be interested in, and if so, how much would you be prepared to pay?
Getting honest, though sometimes difficult, feedback is an essential first step in making your business dream a reality.
Check out the market
After your core business idea has been developed, you need to engage in some market research. Who are your main competitors? How will you make yourself different from them? Where will your customers or clients come from? Be sure to focus on more than the success stories. Try to delve further into the businesses that didn’t succeed and why. Ask yourself what you can do to avoid the same fate.
You may learn things during this step, which will cause you to reshape or reconsider your original idea, which is essential during the planning phase.
Draft a business plan
Another vital step towards starting a new business is the development of a business plan. Business plans may be formal or informal, but they will help you layout your business’s core components before you begin the launch phase.
A business plan should list all the things that you hope to achieve in the next year, five years, and ten years, as well as laying out a marker of success. It is also somewhere to make financial projections, which may be vital if you need to secure funding to get your business off the ground. Consider all fo your overheads, including:
Premises: Will you work from home, lease premises, or buy them?
Prototyping is a crucial initial step in when launching a business. It allows you to check whether your vision is feasible or not.
Prototyping does not only refer to companies that produce physical goods. A prototype can also be a simple website representing the future business that you use to collect interested parties’ email addresses. If you are after a particular niche like fashion or cooking, you may also consider building a blog to help you attract a following, because you do not actually have to go out and develop a fully developed product — the aim is to confirm that some people are willing to pay for what you are planning to sell or offer.
There are various ways of getting the money that you may need to launch your business. Of course, in an ideal world, you would have the cash ready and waiting, but very few people are in that position.
Crowdfunding, such as Kickstarter, is an increasingly popular way of getting the funding to launch your business. You need an idea and a pitch that will attract the attention of would-be donators.
Bank loans: If you have an excellent personal credit history and a strong business plan, you may find that banks will give you a loan. However, even if things don’t quite go to plan, you still need to pay it off
Grants: There are many schemes and grants available in specific industries to help budding businesses startup. Do our research and find out if you are eligible for any of them. The great thing about these is that they do not have to be paid back.
Turning your bright spark into something big can take a lot of time and energy, but when you see your dream turn into reality, it will be worth it.