G. Mark’s Answer
For all businesses, you need to write a business plan. A business plan serves several purposes and should always be the first step. First, it organizes your own thoughts. Second, it makes possible problems evident. Third, it is a vehicle for communicating your vision and preparation to others, like potential investors, potential employees, and friends and consultants who can see your plan and provide better advice. A business plan needs to include 1) the problem you're solving or need you're addressing, 2) how you plan to address it, 3) your target market or other people who would benefit from your efforts, 4) size and scope and expansion plans, if any, 5) why this is a good time to enter this market, 6) advantages of your approach over alternatives or competitors, 7) potential problems. I think if you look over this list, you'll see that these are just the kinds of questions you or anyone else should have about any project. As you research and learn, you'll flesh this document out with details and any changes to the situation. Worst case, you learn a lot and maybe decide to change your strategy. Best case, folks read it and offer to help out. A business case is a win-win effort. And interesting. And fun. And if you have a really unique idea, don't forget to get readers to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), okay? Writing a business plan is fun because it allows you to imagine the actual project taking shape.