Monday, October 12, 2009

Moving Your Business Beyond the Idea Stage

You have a great business idea.  You know it will work and you could finally fulfill your dream of being your own boss.  If only you knew how to get started.

Too many ideas remain just that - ideas.  But you can move your business beyond the idea stage by following these simple steps.

1.  If you have a basic idea of what type of service or product you want to provide, do some research to make it as marketable as possible.  Are other businesses offering the same thing?  If so, how is your business different.  If your idea is completely unique, do some further research to be sure there is a market for it. 

2.  Write your business plan.  Every business, no matter how small, needs a written business plan.  What's in a business plan? It depends. You can create a fairly elaborate plan with an executive summary, market analysis, business strategy, financial plan, management summary, implementation steps and much more. These are great if you are applying for a loan to start your new business or are bringing in partners or investors. But if you just want a plan to help you get your new home business idea off the ground, it can be much simpler.

3.  Assess your financial situation.  How much money will you need to get your business off the ground?  Do you have enough to finance it yourself or will you need a loan?  Will you continue in your current job while you build your business?  If you are going to devote yourself full time to your business, how much will you need to finance it and cover your living expenses until you start making a profit?  Do you have enough money set aside to live on while you build your business?  If not, where will you get it?

4.  Create your marketing plan.  Who is your target market?  How will you reach them?  Is there more than one market for your product or service?  Will you market to them both in the same way?  How much will you need to spend on marketing?  If you don't understand marketing, study what the Top 10 Internet Marketing Gurus and my Favorite Women Entrepreneurs are doing and apply it to your own business.

5.  Prepare to Launch!  Set up a step-by-step task list of what you need to do to get your business idea off the ground and make it a reality.  Each day do at least one thing to move you closer to your goal. 

From idea to prosperous business - all it takes is a few steps and you'll be on your way!