If you’re thinking of starting a business, probably the main driver behind this decision is the thought of being your own boss excites you. This is because you’re the type of person that isn’t daunted by challenges or the risks faced, in fact the primary you reason you want your own business is that your day to day job is really boring and way to safe.
You’ve got a bright idea but what do you do next? The following are 3 simple questions you need to answer before you can advance to the next stages.
1. Is your idea good enough ?
Coming up with a great new business idea is one thing, converting it into something that people will buy is a completely different notion. Whether your business idea is a brand new app or a new take on an existing product, it’s really important to find out if it is something people will understand and be willing to buy!
You really need to find out if your idea actually solves a problem for people are actually experiencing. Often times your business idea doesn’t need to be innovative or revolutionary it just needs to be simple and understandable.
If you really want to be successful in business, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a newbie, you need to overcome a number of challenges. You do want to add or introduce more, by trying to educate your customers as to why they need your product. Often times it is far simpler to take an existing concept on go with it, once you have customers and earning money then engage with your new idea and work with your customers to better formulate it.
2. Do you have a plan ?
There is generally a lot of advice out there, talking about writing a comprehensive business plan with projected financial figures and devising business strategies etc. You really don’t need to go into that level of detail. Your business plan, could just be a number of To Do list items, but the important thing is that you at least formulate some kind of action plan and execute on that plan.
Unless you’re going to be engaging investors, venture capitalists or bankers for large funding requirements you don’t need to formulate comprehensive business plans. Some of the most successful businesses have all started off on shoe string budgets and no business plans. The only plan they ever stuck to was the “Get Customers” plan.
Until you have a clear plan as to how to attract, engage and convert prospects to customers, you don’t have a plan! Everything else futile!
3. Can I get funding ?
The answer to this question should be answered by the previous 2. As a business owner, one thing I can assure you of, is that you will never have enough funding ever! This is the hard fact of life, you’ll always have ideas bigger than your funding pot will allow. The secret to answering this third question is to ensure you have an answered the previous 2!
The truth is that although there are a number of avenues to obtain funding for your business, they will all demand the answers to the previous 2 questions. In a vast majority of cases they will expect to see that you have actually proven your concept and are attracting customers, before they will provide finance.
A key point to bear in mind, borrowed money, is not easy & cheap money. Borrowed money usually comes with strings attached. You may think that having access to funding will reduce the pressures on your business but you’ll soon find out this isn’t the case.