Any entrepreneur or creative knows, ideas come to you when you least expect. Sometimes it is in those moments when you just want your mind to stop turning and get a few hours of sleep. Suddenly, you switch on the nightlight or wake your phone – your bedside companion – because you cannot go to sleep without jotting down this idea or you will lose it.
In other times of going through the motions, longing for a more convenient process triggers the light bulb to come on. Companies that have stood the test of time and new kids on the block have the similar story of sitting around the garage when it hits them. Either from pure desperation or an unwavering belief that their idea would make a difference in the world, their business dreams became real.
You know it takes putting in work to get an idea past the point of just dancing around in your head or resting on a vision board. The action is the obvious part, but there is a method to it. If you follow these action steps your company could be the next success story.
Action Steps To Transform A Bright Idea Into A Successful Business
- Figure out a problem that your idea solves. It is normal to be subjective and emotional toward your precious idea. Desire is part of the process, but you need sales to keep you in business. Instead of honing in on the great solution at first, work on identifying a common problem your product will solve.
- Research the competition. You may have never heard of your idea or see anyone around doing it, but take it step further. Do your homework to see if similar products or services exist. That could save you the headache of entering a saturated market or help you enter from a different angle. Similar products or services could use your idea and what you can do to improve them.
- See a business consultant. A professional can guide you through completing each step on your way to structuring your idea into a viable business. They can act as a mentor to help you talk through if the idea makes sense to pursue. Business consultants have an abundance of networks and could help you connect with the right business funding too.
- Find a market for your idea. Even if everyone wants your product, not all of them need it, can afford it or will buy it. The objective is to up your chances of reaching buyers. Market research is an important step to have a solid marketing plan and promote to people who will convert into customers. Consider demographic information such as age group, residence, income, a line of work and hobbies.
- Find support and build your team. Business partners and a team who want to see you succeed could speed up the process. Bringing the best of what each of you has to the table with a team around you increases your chances of longevity in the business. Big business names like Google, Apple, Twitter, Proctor and Gamble and Ben & Jerry’s can attribute their lengthy business success to fusing good qualities within their partnership.
- Create your business plan. This foundation for success breaks down every component of your business. Creating a business plan will put all the concepts swarming around in your head in one place on a document. It helps you narrow down critical projections for at least the first five years. Most investors require some form of a business plan to consider placing their trust in your idea or company. Focus on these areas:
- Executive summary.
- Market analysis.
- Company and team information.
- Product or service.
- Financial plan.
- Find investors for your idea. Start with options that have the least amount of risk in the early stages. Friends and loved ones, personal savings and crowdfunding pose the least risk to your credit and are easier for a startup to obtain. With more experience, pitching to a venture capitalist or angel investor could yield more funds in exchange for company equity.
- Solidify your brand and promote your business. Influencers control a large portion of market activity, so that means you need to be the face of your brand. Work on building a loyal following on social media before your business idea launches. Build email lists, submit press releases and create anticipation for your upcoming product or service.
Helpful Tips To Remember During The Process
- Pursue what you love to do. All the work you put in has to be about more than money. Passion will be the driving force behind your idea. It is invigorating to work toward a business doing what you love. Without that enthusiasm, it feels more like work that you will not want to continue.
- Think about how your idea will serve society. The world needs your ideas to transition to useful products and services. They need convenience, fresh solutions and relief from things that cause physical pain, or that are just a pain in the rear. Aspiring entrepreneurs need inspiration and motivation from seeing you win. Your brilliant idea can do great things for the community, or even the nation.
- Build relationships and reach out when you need to. Networking still works in this century, and evolutions have expanded the ways we can reach out. Social media groups, meet-ups and mixers make it easy to make business friends close to home or abroad. Forming these bonds will make your journey less lonely and give you resources to nurture ideas. Connect with entrepreneurs of all levels and types to learn how they are propelling their idea.
- Keep an open mind. Seasoned business owners, business partners or mentors may be eager to critique your idea or challenge different areas of it. Be open to learning and trying new business strategies. You may have to release what you had your heart set on and opt for what makes sense from a marketing or financial perspective.
- Be ready for growth. You will grow personally and professionally as you devote a chunk of your time to building your business. As the business grows, you will also have learning curves that will expand your mind and the business. Scalable growth is essential in the early days to make sure your demand does not exceed your supply and your workforce does not outweigh your working capital.
- Prepare for delayed gratification. Bringing your business idea to life will require sacrifice. To nurture your “baby,” you will work a lot of hours with little immediate return. Delaying your social life, income and sleep are common in the startup phase, but you will reap your reward when the business takes off.
- Don’t let fear hold you back. Some call it False Evidence Appearing Real. You create fictitious circumstances in your mind of what could happen based on previous experiences or witnessing others’ experiences. Don’t get stuck in fear. Move forward with a plan and action backing your idea. Feed positivity to your mind by canceling self-limiting beliefs and infusing affirmative thoughts.
Shifting An Idea To A Successful Business Requires Emulating Successful Habits
The first habit of highly successful people is being proactive – a self-starter. Taking the initiative to act on your idea is what led you to this guide and what will feed your desire to take each step. Keep your mindset positive and take action, so the life of your idea extends beyond notes and coffee chats.
At HJR Global, we help entrepreneurs convert vibrant ideas into plans, and plans into a flourishing business. When you find yourself in need of assistance with your business idea, do not hesitate to contact us.
To read the previous blog post, click here.