VP/ Founding Member at DO iT, LLC
It takes an idea! Every large and successful company in the world started with an idea. They usually started small and grew, often branching into areas they did not start in. So, even if you are not ready to start now, there are a number of things that you could do to improve your chances for success down the road; they don’t cost anything, they will be educational and fun, you can start today and you can proceed at your own pace.
If you are one of the fortunate folks who know the type of business you want to pursue, that is to your benefit but it is not essential. If you do, start a journal and start your basic research: start with who would be the competitors, how do they market, where are they, what makes them special, what are they planning for the future, how you could be competitive, how might you differentiate your product or service. You’ll be learning observation skills, elements of marketing, sales and many other aspects of business that will be valuable even if you don’t start a business in that area. Subscribe to any trade publications, join an appropriate trade organization or volunteer so you can to make contacts and learn more specific information. The information you gather now, will become valuable later when you put together a business plan. If this is done over a long period, it would also show potential partners, investors or bankers the depth of your interest and commitment. It will also help you to determine what skills, assets and plans you will need to acquire before launching your business.
If you really don’t know what area you wish to pursue, not to worry. ANY business you start will have common elements. Think of this process as the who, what, where, and why questions for your business. Again, keep a journal of your findings, developing your knowledge, potential challenges and possible outcomes. As you progress you’ll be learning about the elements required to start a business. They will sound daunting but if one approaches them thoughtfully, methodically and with confidence you will get to your own launch. The reality is: This is not easy and by launch time, you will have answered many of the following questions:
Do you have the core competencies to start the business? That is, the analytical skills, financial tools, marketing strategy etc. It helps to list the resources you need, the resources you have and the gap between the two. Filling in the gaps with resources will be an important part of your business planning.
Do you have the financial backing to embark on your venture? If you’re living at home and are receiving food, clothing and shelter, insurance, transportation and a space for your venture, that’s great. If you are missing any of these resources, it will be necessary to provide them while you are starting your business. That said, people have started businesses on a “shoestring” but it is VERY difficult to do and adds to the already high stress involved with a startup.
Do you have the self-discipline, drive and dedication to your venture? Translating ideas into goods and services (and making a profit) is not for the easily discouraged. While success is particularly satisfying as an entrepreneur, the amount of time, effort and difficulty will not be minimal. So keep the “realities” in mind and press on…be as thorough as you can, keep your eyes wide open and enjoy the journey.
Good Luck with your idea!
Last updated Dec 07 '17 at 10:56