Got a great business idea? Whether that may be what is considered by current standards a “side hustle” or a full-fledged business concept, what if you are not sure how to turn your business idea into a reality?
Whilst everybody dreams at one time or another of getting out of the daily grind of the 9-5 and starting “that” business idea that popped into their head whilst having their morning tea, it is important to take on board the following:
The rate of success when starting a business is much lower than those visualising may realise, so the first question any potential business owner needs to ask themselves is “Why.” As in “Why am I starting this business?”, and the answer needs to include more than merely remuneration. It needs to clearly show passion and dedication to what will amount to hard work for potentially limited returns in the short term.
No matter how excited you are about your business idea, the key to any success is thorough research. You need to ensure the idea you have come up with doesn’t already exist and if it does that there is room in the market for a competitor. When completing your research, you need to think about aspects including the local market, type of business structure, business and marketing plans and initial costs associated with your business. Business Victoria is a recognised offshoot of the government and an excellent opening resource.
Know clearly who your target market is and how your intended business is designed to assist or resolve their need. Utilising websites such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au) will make your research into local market share simple and this is free to use at any time. You also need to make sure your business idea is unique and your target market is not already being serviced. Once you have found your niche and your customer base would be secure, you will want to ensure that your unique idea is securely yours. Make sure to consider ways of protecting your business ideas such as trademarks and patenting.
Create a business plan
Having a clear and concise plan assists with success. Drafting a business plan not only allows you to see your intended business goals clearly but helps you prioritise and give you a clear direction to work from. The plan will also allow you to objectively see areas that could affect your long-term success or could be improved upon immediately. A business plan will also support your application if you are seeking finance for your business, if you need or want investors this will allow them the opportunity to see why they should invest in you.
Programs of support
Look into development opportunities for yourself, a great scheme available to eligible Australians is the NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme). The program provides accredited business training, helps with creating a business plan and provides personalised mentoring to assist with turning your business idea into a reality. They will also provide you with the tools to protect your business idea, so you are not left wondering “What could have been?”
Ask your target market
The simple concept of asking a question can be quite daunting to many people but putting the question out there to the community is one of the fastest ways to find out if your idea is viable. You can source opinions about your potential business, see if it is the type of thing people have been looking for and get an idea of the interest levels in your target markets. This also provides you with valuable feedback on what you could be doing differently.
Many people make the mistake of thinking they need to get everything up and running immediately for their business. Take it slow and enact your business in stages. Utilise your business plan to order how you want to get your business running and see clearly what needs to be done immediately and what can be rolled out on a scheduled basis. This will allow you to start your business faster and not require all expenses up front, hopefully allowing you to make some money to support the rollout of each stage until fully operational.
Almost everybody loves to daydream about the notion of starting a business at some point and being their own boss. But it is important to always remember that whilst turning your business idea into a reality is always a possibility you have to be ready for some hard work and dedication to your idea.