What Happens After You Come Up with a Small Business Idea?

The previous article discussed Coming Up with Small Business Ideas & Making Them Your Own. I mentioned at the end of the article that coming up with a small business idea is only about a quarter of the battle.

There are a gazillion articles online about how to come up with a small business idea but what comes up after you have an idea you want to turn into a small business that will generate income?

If you’ve gone through everything in coming up with small business ideas and making them your own article, you already know your idea is viable.

5 Things That Should Happen After You Come Up With a Small Business Idea

5 Things That Should Happen After You Come Up With a Small Business Idea

1. Create a Business Plan

This is the absolute first thing you should do. You need to flesh out a plan on how you’re going to launch and what you need to launch. Do a skeletal business plan.

You don’t have to make it a comprehensive humongous thing that will overwhelm you. It should be simple.

You can start from scratch or use a template to customize your business plan. A good example is The Business Model Canvas.

What are the components of a good business plan? That requires it’s own article but the basics include – summary, organization structure, marketing plan, operational plan and financial plan.

Under each one is a comprehensive list of items you need to research and develop as well but this is a good structure to start with.

I was fortunate enough to attend a programme that allowed me access to a world-class trainer in my field. She critiqued my idea and helped me come up with a kick-ass business plan.

2. Where’s the Money for Your Idea?

This is the most important part of the business plan – the money part. How much money do you have? Do you plan to use your own money?

Do you want to get some partners and split the funding or do you want to look for an investor?

As a solopreneur or freelancer, you want to focus on launching with as little money as possible and no debt but you also need to mitigate your financial risk?

The answer to this is to launch minimally. Start with the basics. Tim Ferris covered this in The 4-Hour Work Week.

Test the market and see what and how the response is before you go all in. This will ensure you’re investing a minimal figure initially. This strategy is also referred to as the Minimum Viable Product. 

3. Launch While You’re Still at Your Full-Time Job

I’ve known people who quit their job, launched an idea blindly and pumped all their money into it without proper planning or testing.

They eventually ended up running out of money and having to go back into full-time employment. Some borrowed money to keep going for a while even when it was obvious things weren’t going well.

It doesn’t mean they had a bad idea. It means they launched without a plan. While you’re testing out your idea, remain at your full-time job as long as you can. Continue saving money.

I started testing out my idea about 6months before I handed in my notice. It won’t be easy but it’s temporary while you solidify your financial footing, learn what you need to know about your target market and fine-tune any parts of your plan as required. 

4. Marketing. Is. Everything.

This is also part of the business plan. Without marketing, there’s no point starting a business. Who are you going to sell to?

How are you going to sell to them? And where are you going to find these people?

Why should they choose you over anyone else? Do you understand their needs? What are you going to charge them? How are you going to get your product/service to them?

Marketing connects you to your customers. You need multiple online and offline channels to achieve this.

You also need to customize this for your small business. Read Creating a Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Small New Business by Stanley F. Stasch.

One of my personal mottos is “I chase relationships, not money.” My focus is on building a business relationship with my clients and potential clients; not getting their money. With a great business relationship, the money will follow inevitably.

5. Remain Adaptable & Flexible

Be open to the possibility of adjusting your plan along the way in case of market changes or something unexpected happening, which requires you to slightly alter your plan.

Change is a constant thing in life and it’s the people who are ready to embrace change and learn from it that change the world.

I have adjusted my business plan twice since I launched because of something that wasn’t working according to plan.

However you go about implementing your business plan, nothing beats believing in yourself and the power of your dreams and staying the course through up and downs, trials and errors, bumps and ditches on the journey.

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