Having an idea in mind is a piece of cake, but converting that idea into something productive and successful is a whole new deal. The amount of time, money and effort it takes to turn an idea into a flourishing business is no joke.
Determination, focus and sacrifice are the pillars on which the foundation for those businesses are built. Especially in a world which is as competitive as the present day, you have got to have that little extra something in order to make it to the big leagues. One can think of it this way – a seed (idea) is planted, nurtured (planned and put sufficient thought into) into a sapling and then patiently watching the plant shoot up into a tree (success).
Steps to Turn an Idea Into a Business
- What is the problem you intend to tackle?
From an economics standpoint, it is no secret that human wants are unlimited, but resources to satisfy them are limited. Customers will always demand something better or something new. With the advent of social media, it becomes easier to narrow it down to what the latest need/problem is that requires tackling/tending to. This is because people write their hearts out on their social media posts, for the most part.
Another way to gather information is through surveys. Most websites have platforms where you can create your surveys, and the takers are paid a small amount for taking the survey. Therefore, with present-day technology, it is much easier to navigate what the problem is.
- Developing a solution to the problem:
The problem that you intend to solve must be an idea that you believe in, something that ignites that fire inside you, what we like to call passion. It is imperative to have that fire roaring through you in order to minimise the time to enter into the business world because the drawback of technology is that problems and needs keep varying. If you take your own sweet time to figure out a solution, someone may have already beaten you to it.
Once the list of problems is created, review each one to see which fits best for your idea and philosophy, something that you can get behind and believe in.
- The Business Model:
It defines how you solve a customer’s problem in a profitable way. Business models help you define elements and answer questions such as:-
– What do you do?
– How do you do it?
– Who do you help?
– How do you reach them?
– What are the resources needed?
– What are the details of the costs?
– How much revenue will you earn?
- Market research:
Most times, there may be a problem identified and a solution figured out, but there might be different sets of people working parallel on the same business without even knowing it. In simple words, there may be someone else working on your product at the same time that you are. This is where your spadework and research plays a crucial role because the better informed you are, the better chance you have of winning the race.
SWOT analysis and PESTLE analysis are some of the mechanisms that will help you find answers. When it comes to market research, these are the questions that are to be answered:-
– What is the actual and potential size of the market?
– What is the target market?
– Is there an existing or product/service already?
– Are customers price-sensitive or not?
– Who are the top players in that particular segment?
– What is the potential market share available to us?
– How do our competitors effectively attract customers?
- Financial planning and budgeting:
A business plan changes shape from a concept to a reality once the numbers and metrics kick in. The viability of your business is down to how realistic the numbers look.
Financial forecasting, budgeting and planning are by far one of the trickiest stages of preparing a business plan because it affects your ability to get funding, whether in terms of investors or if one opts for a bank loan. Nobody gives their money away easily. The numbers have mandatorily got to add up and make sense. If your financial plan is even remotely fishy, chances of rejection are most probable. Ideally, the purpose of the financials is twofold.
Investors want to see the numbers that justify that your business will grow at a steady pace over the years and that they will get their money back. But the most important reason is that it gives you a guide as to how to run your business.
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- Setting up and incorporating a company:
Now that all aspects of the planning stage are complete, it is time to put the plan to action. And to do so requires your business to have a legal existence and a birth in legal terms. The incorporation stage would require you to submit your documents in various stages to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). For this, it’d be best to acquire the services of a practising Chartered Accountant or a Company Secretary. This could be advantageous in two ways.
Firstly, when you discuss your idea with them and your business plan in mind, being financial and legal experts themselves, they could advise you regarding any potential hiccup that they may foresee on the first-hand review of your plan of action. Secondly, they will explain to you regarding any options available and present you with what could be the best way forward for your business.
As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”, and this applies to businesses as well. The secret is to stay positive, patient and focused. Eventually, it will grow to the heights that were once dreamed of, turning those dreams into a reality.