One of the biggest misconceptions that a lot of people have about the business world is that all that it takes for success is a single great business idea. The problem, however, lies in the fact that an idea is completely useless without the means to execute it and turn it into a profitable business. In order to get to a point where your million-dollar idea actually starts making money, you need to successfully complete a series of steps, each of which may be pivotal for your survival in the business world. Here are seven such steps that you need to focus on.
Validate your idea
The first thing you need to check when you come up with such an amazing idea is whether it’s really as good as it sounds. In other words, you need to validate your idea. Some things sound amazing in theory, yet, aren’t nearly as great or as easy to pull off in practice. Just one example is the idea where you come up with a product/service that your target audience clearly needs and you start overinvesting in this idea before you start to consider how big of a priority this is to your potential audience. You alone must have a plethora of items that you would want to possess, yet, will never actually come around to buy. The first thing you need to do is ensure that what you’re trying to sell isn’t one of those items/services.
Making a business plan
The next thing you should do is come up with a tangible business plan. Knowing what you want to do is one thing, yet, having a plan on how you’re going to pull it off is something else entirely. With that in mind and without further ado, you need to start writing an executive summary. Next, you need to outline your goals, vision, and mission, as well as have an outline of your company culture. Once you’re past this, you need to start including the numbers into your plan. For instance, it’s a great idea if you could do a market analysis and make an estimate of an average cost-per-conversion, which should help you make a marketing budget. The more elaborate your plan is the better, which is why you need to put in writing even those items that you feel like you don’t need to.
Making a finances assessment
The next thing you need to do is start dabbling in your corporate finances in order to see how much money you need to launch and how quickly can you reach your break-even point. Needless to say, this will also affect your fundraising methodology. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that factors like cash flow and profitability may make or break your business and you would do well to remember that. Moreover, it’s more than worth hiring a professional to help you out with your financial projection.
The legal structure of your company
The next thing you need to address as soon as possible is the legal structure of your business. Namely, running as sole proprietor means that you don’t have to separate your business taxes from your personal taxes but it also means that there’s no way to separate your personal from your business assets. This means that should things go south, you might lose more than your business. You might end up losing your home and worse. Therefore, going as an LLC (limited liability corporation) might be a much better option.
Handling the paperwork
The next step is vital, seeing as how it’s the one that regulates the issue of your IP (intellectual property). First, you need to find an available name and register your company under it. Then, you need to protect your intellectual property in the form of copyright, trademark, hand patent, depending on what you want to protect. Then, you should consider getting all the necessary insurances, in the form of general liability insurance and so on. Finally, you need to consider getting certificates necessary for you to join the industry of choice. As soon as all of this is out of the way, you’re officially a part of the business world.
Gathering a team
Once you have the outlines of your company, you need to make it come to life by gathering a team. Due to the fact that your initial team should be fairly small, you need to focus on getting essential personnel only. For instance, you need someone to handle core tasks, an HR representative and a lawyer. Due to the fact that keeping a lawyer on a retainer might be fairly expensive, you need to find a way to justify the expense by having them tend to a key function like them being a work injury lawyer or something just as pivotal. As for the other functions, you can either outsource or hire freelancers to tend to them, for the time being.
Establish a brand
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that whether or not people do business with you depends on more than just your ability to establish a strong brand within your industry. For this, you need to have a unique angle (something to differentiate you from your competitors). Brand markings, which will give your business a visual identity and, of course, corporate values (that we’ve already discussed). More than anything else, being a brand is something that depends on your relationship with your clients and this is something that you should never forget.
With each of these steps completed, your chances of making it in the business world slightly rise. Still, building up the resilience of your business comes in time. Unfortunately, this means that it’s quite easy to kill a business in its infancy and all it takes is a single minor mistake to do it. By laying down a firm foundation (which is what this post has been all about) you’ll make preconditions for a seamless future growth. Overall, this is something more than worth your time, effort and attention.