The chances are that the vast majority of the businesses functioning in the world today started from a light bulb moment. That fleeting second in time when an idea hits you and you instantly know it’s more important than any other idea that’s ever popped into your mind. A spark of creativity that bounces around in your mind until you finally figure out a way to turn it into a viable business, but how? And what next?
Many light bulb moments will be followed by endless procrastination or self-doubt, but if you really want to turn them into fully fledged neon signs of business success then you need a plan of action. This moment should be the beginning of your journey up the business ladder and so here’s some invaluable advice of where to go next.
It’s Question Time
Before you can be sure that your idea has what it takes to make it in the business world; it is important that you look at it from many different angles. The easiest ways to do this is to ask yourself a variety of relevant questions that will help you to establish how far you can go with this. Questions such as who will use my business? Who will want my products? Is there anything else like this already out there? And what problem is my product solving?
These will help you to gain a better understanding of exactly what it is you have thought of and whether it has its place on the market.
Seek Financial Backing
These days financial backing can come from a variety of different sources, not least because the government are doing everything they can to help out people who are starting a business for themselves. You can go down the route of trying to get a business loan or attempt to take advantage one of the many government schemes that have been set up for exactly these situations.
You could also attempt to raise money by getting an investor on board who also sees potential in your business idea and is therefore happy to come on board. Modern day TV shows such as Dragon’s Den profile this perfectly but you don’t have to take to the screen in order to gain an investment.
Make A Prototype
This is where things start to get more serious. You may already have people scrambling to get a look at your product or you could still be trying to gain some awareness for it, but either way it’s important to create a basic version so you can see how well it will work in practise. Many people will use the money they have received from their financial backing to do this; in the hope that on creation of a successful prototype they will be able to earn more collateral. Having a working prototype of your product or service will then allow you to give a practical demonstration to the people you are pitching to.
Decide Where Your Company Will Do Business
Now’s the time to establish exactly how you will go about creating the physical aspects of your business. Will it be in a shop space that you’ve rented out on the high-street? Will it be on a market stall in a popular area of town? Or will it be on a more virtual platform and entirely based online. Whichever route you wish to go down it’s time to create your premises so that you can start to build that link with the public and get your products and services out into the big wide world.
Once you know where your business is going to operate then you can start to put together all the things that are going to make your business, your business. This will include its name (if you haven’t already thought of one), how you will package your products, the style and design elements of your premises and/or website and ultimately how you are going to market your company to your awaiting public.
By this point you may be feeling the pinch when it comes to cash but there are many ways you can build brand awareness at little to no cost. One of the most effective is social media and so you can use this to promote a few competitions where your products are the prizes. This will not only create awareness of your company but you will also start to form valuable relationships with the right people.
About the Author: Chris Mayhew would one day love to start his own business but is waiting for that moment of inspiration. He would urge all current business owners and other aspiring ones to visit the New Business website for helpful advice and tips.
Photo credit: jarito