You think you have a great idea that satisfies a market need or fills a niche. You may indeed have a brilliant idea and if so, it will be contagious – something exciting and original always captures other people’s interest. But be aware that lots of people have fantastic business ideas, only to realise there’s no way they can make a commercial profit, or someone else with far more resources, has or is just about to launch the same idea.
So don’t spend money developing your idea without first conducting exhaustive research.
You must test your idea with thorough market research and also be as certain as you can be that your idea is not already out there, or about to be launched in a way that you could not hope to compete against. You will also need to make sure your idea doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s IP, so check the patent database.
When research tells you your idea has potential, next decide if there is any part of it you can copyright. You’ll probably have to start creating it first to find out. Bear in mind most patents take at least six months to come through, and they’re difficult to obtain.
Be very aware of the financial viability of your idea. Work through everything that would be involved in its development to see if there is actually any room for profit.
You might think your idea is great, but the hard work hasn’t even begun yet. Don’t go off registering your business just yet. Even if you know you have a race to bring your idea to market, take enough time to plan your next step.
If you absolutely love the markets in which your business idea will be based, you will be able to cope with the hard graft and disappointments along the way that you will inevitably encounter as you make your idea become a reality. Your enthusiasm will also be a great catalyst to all those people that you will need to help you make it a success.
Your passion will also be very appealing to customers!
But make sure you have a deep understanding of your entire subject, not just an interest. By knowing all there is to know you will come to understand your target customer intimately and this will ensure you shape your idea to fit the customer and that your marketing efforts will have the best chance of success.
Being your own boss
Making your dream or exciting idea become a business reality and earning your own reward from it, is one of the most satisfying experiences in life. So if you have always felt a desire to have your own business, then you really must go for it!
The idea of answering to no one will of course be highly attractive. As long as you understand that the reality of this can be a very different experience than you might imagine, you will be prepared and be well placed to overcome the adversity that always comes along. You must be able to keep moving forward, putting in the hours, doing the boring and frustrating part of any business, fighting suppliers, dealing with unhappy customers and not stopping for the day until you have reached the end of the key tasks in hand.
There are huge advantages when things are going well and many people never look back. But examine yourself carefully. Are you able to block out distractions? Are you OK working in isolation when needed? Can you knuckle down and put in the hours when your friends call to invite you out? Are you a highly disciplined individual?
If you are confident you can answer yes to these fundamental questions, then you have what it takes. And don’t let the odds stop you. It is true that 90% of new businesses fail (Dun & Bradstreet), but if you don’t go for it then you will never know if you could have been in the successful 10%.
“It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try” – Mike Dennison
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed” – Theodore Roosevelt
Are you unable to find a fulfilling job? Is there a business idea you have always thought to look into, or can you sell your skills freelance?
If you’re struggling to get into the industry you want to career-wise, starting a business in it can prove you have the skills, determination, experience and commitment further down the line and open up more job opportunities as a result. Or maybe you will create the income you need and never have to look for a job again!?
Can you see this difficult time as an opportunity?
Starting a business is hugely rewarding. Whether long-term or not, you really owe it to yourself to have a go. If nothing else it will prove to future employers that you have drive, you were willing to broaden your business experience and take a risk, and you will have gained invaluable skills you would not have if you only continue job-searching.
Activity also helps prevent the downward spiral of moral that most people experience when they can’t find work.
But don’t commit too much money to a business you’re not planning to run in the long-term. On the other hand, this might end being a business you stick with for life – so it’s well worth doing things properly.
Make a million
If you start with a plan to make a million, don’t hold your breath. While new people become millionaires every day, unless you have a rock solid business idea, you will not be the next.
If your sole intention is to make money it is very unlikely you will have the fortitude to weather the storms and find ways through when all looks impossible.
That said, making a million (or many millions) can of course be done – but for that to be your sole aim, you need to be someone who is very financially minded with a natural gift for business. You may well have been showing signs of entrepreneurialism all your life – selling to your friends in the playground. But you still need to approach a business in the same way as anyone else – careful research, planning, getting the funding in place and rigorously testing your idea before taking it to market.
To help you along the way, we’ve created ShereCatalyst. Take a look and then get in touch. We can help you to make your business a reality.