Since I’ve had the fortune of working six different jobs, taken college courses from seven different schools, and am now running a business that caters towards professional and business development, I’ve gotten the chance to meet a lot of people who’ve expressed an interest to someday start their own business.
The most popular question for most individuals is usually the same: where do I start? Well, without further ado… here’s the “short and sweet” based on what I’ve learned from business consultants, interviews, business books, and from the Walton College of Business on how to wisely turn an idea into a business.
#1 – Market validation.
Before you go invest a considerable amount of time, money, energy and other scarce resources into this new business idea, do your research on the front end to make sure it’s something of value to people other than just yourself – and the handful of people you’ve asked for feedback that are close friends or family.
Arrange to have lunch or coffee with some strangers, potential customers, advisers, and other people who have already done the thing that you are now thinking of doing, and figure out if they like your idea by getting honest feedback from them. You’ll learn a lot about how other people perceive the idea, how you can improve on it, and save a lot of time because they’ll offer you advice and different perspectives.
#2 – Turning the idea into a business.
So you’ve asked people if they like what you’re offering and have now gained confidence knowing there’s enough people who seem willing to spend money on your idea. Congratulations, because that’s a huge part of the process – making sure you’re not building something that no one wants.
Next, connect with some professional business consultants and attorneys and find out what legal requirements must be satisfied before you can officially open for business. This includes registering the business name through your respective state, drafting up legal documents for the IRS, and a plethora of other tasks that are each dependent upon the specific industry you’re getting into.
There’s no need to try to figure all of this out on your own when there are already a lot of resources out there for business owners. Both the Small Business Administration and Startup Junkie Consulting are two great resources to use to get started. The best part – they won’t cost you a dime. Their services are free to use, courtesy of tax payer dollars.
#3 – Start selling!
You’ve completed the market validation and satisfied the necessary requirements to officially sell your product and/or services as a registered business. Now what? It’s time to start selling! Start promoting your business because no matter how great of a product you have – no one can buy from you if they don’t know about you; credit: Grant Cardone!
You can start by offering it to friends and family or to some of the individuals you talked to about the idea during your market research (if they seemed genuinely interested in it at that time). I would personally recommend that you schedule at least one consult with a professional who can help you develop a strong marketing strategy because it’s an upfront cost that will pay dividends down the line, rather than approaching your marketing campaign with a “trial and error” or “word of mouth” strategy only.
Well, there you have it. My personal advice to anyone looking to jump into entrepreneurship based on my own experiences and coaches. I wanted to keep it short and sweet as promised so if you want more detail than what’s provided above – feel free to reach out!
Want to share your wisdom on this topic? Comment below or let’s arrange to talk here. I love to include the various perspectives of others and love feedback. Thanks for reading.