Do you have an idea for a business? Good. Have you done your research? Excellent. If you haven’t done your research, let me offer some suggestions based on my experiences in starting my own business.
The first thing you should do when contemplating starting a business is get a business plan.
Plan and Dream:
It takes more than a dream to start a business. You have to consider your budget, your competition, your marketing plan, your competitors, and most importantly, consider whether your idea is marketable. You can waste a lot of time (and money) on an idea that is not marketable.
A business plan will help you see whether you have a good chance at attracting customers.
Next, you should decide whether you want to pursue an idea that’s already proven to work, or a new idea.
Research is important:
You can waste a lot of time (and money) chasing dead catchers. If you’ve researched your competition and determined that they are successful at what they do, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by doing your homework and finding out what they’ve done before.
Is your idea Marketable:
You’ll need to do your homework also to see if your idea is marketable. Does it appeal to a mass audience? Can you get it into the media? Who are your competitors? Will your competitors be able to replicate your idea? Will you be able to produce it in large volume? Will it be fast enough to keep up with the demand? Will it retain customers over time? Is there a market for it that you can target? Does it meet an unmet need? Are you going to have to hire or compensate employees for the work you do? Does it make a profit? Does it generate sufficient revenue to cover your expenses? Is it something you can see yourself doing for a long time? Is there a steady income source to keep you in business beyond the first year? Can you see yourself doing this for 15+ years? Is it something that you feel you can give up when a better offer comes along? Is it something you would be comfortable selling after the offer expires? Can the offering maintain an adequate reserve to cover its expenses?
These questions will give you a clear picture of whether it’s a good idea.