Coming up with a business idea is the easy part – most people have ideas for businesses, particularly on days when the 9 to 5 grind is getting them down – but what makes entrepreneurs different is that they turn their ideas into a real working business.
So what exactly does it take to convert a business idea into a successful working company? We have compiled our key top tips for making your business a reality:
- Decide on a single idea
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t convert their ideas into businesses successfully is because they don’t pin down a single idea and stick with it. People jump from idea to idea and can’t decide which one to choose, so they don’t choose anything and stay employed.
Pick a single solid idea and then talk to people about it to see if it is viable. You need to have a strong focus to make it work and keep yourself going through the difficult periods.
- Check the viability of your idea
Once you have decided on your idea you need to check its viability. Ask around among your family and friends but better still, try to talk to members of your prospective audience to see what feedback you get. You need to know if your idea is viable before you commit to setting up a business.
- Run a test web page
Set up a test web page and run a quick advertising campaign which drives people to it, so you can see if there is any genuine interest. You can look at the analytics to see who is visiting and how many are coming to your page, to give you some genuine research.
- Decide on your audience
You need to work out who your audience is and hone them down to a very specific focused niche. The clearer you are about your audience the easier it is to target them and communicate with them in a way which interests and engages them. Creating a genuine rapport with your audience is a key to your business success.
- Do some research
Spend time researching around your business idea – you need to make sure there aren’t hundreds of other people doing the same thing, or if there are, you need a unique selling point to help you stand out from the crowd. Make sure there is a demand for your idea – equally if no-one is running a business in the field it might be because it’s not viable. So research the market thoroughly.
- Invest a small amount of money
Invest a small amount of money into the idea and run some tests – see if anyone will buy it from you or register an interest in finding out more. That way you will know if the business does fulfil a need or not without taking a big risk.
- Check out some prospective customers
Once you have identified your audience a great way to assess the viability of a business idea is to call a number of prospective customers to get their feedback and find out what they think of your idea first hand.
- Don’t be afraid of negative feedback
If you get negative feedback on your idea from your research or would-be customers then don’t ignore it, or be afraid of it. It could save you from pushing ahead with a business that would ultimately fail. Listen to the negative feedback and take it into account – you might just need to tweak your idea to make it better.
- Think about marketing
It’s not enough to have an idea and an audience – you need a plan of how you will bring them together. You need to know how you will market your idea and get your messages across to the audience, as well as how you will pay for this plan. You might need to pay for advertising and promotional tactics.
- Check out your competitors
Have a look at what your competitors are doing and make sure you stand out as different. Don’t be afraid to learn from them and look at successful models which you might be able to use elements of. You can also learn from their mistakes as well. It’s always good to know what your competitors are doing and to stay one step ahead of the game.
These are just 10 small things to think about when you are trying to convert your business ideas into a real company – there are lots of other elements including how you are going to finance the project and how you will deal with all of the aspects involved in actually running a business on a daily basis, such as invoicing, customer service etc.