All of the biggest companies in the world started with just one simple idea. If you’ve got an idea in mind, you’re already well on your way to becoming an entrepreneur. Now comes the hard part, however. Taking that idea and transforming it into a successful business is the most difficult aspect of any startup. In most cases, there is no set guide to getting started. Every business is a difference and the process always varies.
Having said that, there are one or two things that will work with any idea. They are methods of introducing your idea to the world. They will help you assess whether there is a profitable future in the concept you have created. These small tests will explore the benefits and the weaknesses of your product. It will allow you to tweak and create something that is truly powerful. Then you are ready to scale it up into a profitable business.
In a lot of cases, potential entrepreneurs go round and round in circles after they’ve had an idea. This is where so many people get stuck. The ability to envision a future for this idea is the true measure of a successful entrepreneur. Today we’ll give you some advice on moving past this difficult period. We’ll show you how to take your idea and make a business out of it.
Look at the Potential Impact of your Idea
Speak to any entrepreneur and you’ll notice one common characteristic. They are all dreamers. They think big and look to the future. They are ambitious and always looking forward. This is the first thing you must do with your idea. Sit down and think about the future. Scale up your idea in your head. What impact could it have in the future? How will people use it? How will this idea change the way people operate or do business? How will this idea change the world? This process will give you direction and clarity. It will show you what sectors to pursue and how to market the product. Knowing where you’re going is the first step.
Does the Idea Already Exist?
Before you jump head first into the business, do some research. Has your idea already been taken forward by someone else. If so, look for a new angle on it. Make sure the idea is truly unique before you invest money or move forward. Take as long as you need to craft the perfect, unique product. Turn the idea into something that is vital and necessary before you launch it.
Invest a Small Amount of Money
Before you go searching for millions of dollars of investment, put in a little money of your own. In some cases $100-$200 is more than enough to run a few tests. That small amount of investment will allow you to buy a domain name. You’ll be able to run a little advertising on Google ads. This will give you some perspective on whether or not there is a market for you idea. If it works on a super small level, then you know for sure that it will work on a big scale.
Make a Plan
When it comes to getting a startup off the ground, you need a thorough business plan. This should be a thorough account of what your idea is. It should explain its potential and the future markets you intend to crack. It will outline every aspect of building your business. You’ll explore everything you need to make it a success. It should include budgets for getting started and future plans. This will give you a mission statement and a direction. Only then can you move forward. You should set large goals, followed by day-to-day objectives on how you will reach them.
Tell your Friends and Family
One of the most tried and tested techniques is explaining your idea to friends and family. One of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, swears by his Mum’s advice! He runs every idea past his Mother. If it is simple and powerful enough, your friends and family will get it and be excited. If you have to explain why it’s a good idea or go into a lot of detail, it’s back to the drawing board. Your idea should be simplified into a two or three line sentence. If you can’t get it across that easily, it’s too complicated to sell.
Take Feedback Seriously
It’s often difficult, but try not to hold your idea too close to your heart. Learn to accept criticism and suggestions. Be flexible and let your idea adapt and change. Most of the best companies in the world started off with a different product. Adaptation is the key to getting the best from your product. Take suggestions and ideas from people you trust. Get feedback from the small community if your product has one.
We know we’ve already asked you to think big and be ambitious. That still rings true. However, now that you’re ready to get started, begin small. Conquer your local market or a niche area first. Target and centralise your product to a very small audience. Generate a large buzz in a small area. Concentrate your small marketing budget to a small, targeted area of tastemakers in your field. This is how you generate buzz and hype. After that, you can set your sights higher.
Although you’re a small company, business is all about perception. Learn to look bigger than you are. Be professional in all of your communications. Set up a professional website and email address. Use www.regus.co.za to set up a virtual office. It will give you a registered business address and landline number. You’ll immediately look appetising to potential clients and investors.
There’s absolutely no reason why your great idea couldn’t be the next big startup success. All of the recent tech giants like Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr and Google started just like this. Follow in their footsteps and heed the advice provided in this article. Don’t stumble at the first hurdle. Leap over and turn your idea into a burgeoning business.