Ideas are a dime a dozen, but great ones come only once in a lifetime. If you think your idea has the potential to grow into a billion-dollar empire and help millions of people, then great. But rest assured your journey will not be easy or fun. It’s not an overnight process and it takes a systematic approach to accomplish. To help you avoid the common pitfalls that derail many young businesses, here is a step-by-step guide on how to transform your idea into a successful enterprise:
Validate Your Market
Before you order inventory, hire people, and pay for permits and licenses to operate, you’ll need to validate that there is a market for your product or service. Sure, your family or friends are willing to pay money for something you created, but are other people also willing to buy it? Do some market research first. See if there are existing companies that do what you are doing and how saturated the industry is. Finding competitors is actually a good sign since it confirms the fact that there are enough people willing to pay for it.
Build a Prototype
You’ll need at least one finished product to show people. For instance, if you are looking to create a T-shirt brand, you should have at least one sample to wear when you go outside. See how people react to it, ask them if they would pay money for the shirt and how much they are willing to pay for it. Again, using the shirt example, start by creating a design and then ordering one or a batch from a shirt printing company. Once you get the product, see if it’s what you expected in terms of quality.
Order Your Inventory
If you are sure you have the right product and you’ve validated that there is a market for it, the next step is to get stronger market traction by selling more units of your product or more subscriptions of your service. Ordering your initial inventory is typically the first real investment of capital you’ll need to make. And it’s at this point where you’ll have to field manufacturers and distributors who you’ll be partnering with for the long run. Finding the right business partners is a key aspect of succeeding in business. You’ll need someone who can give you a fair price, can provide the exact specifications you request for, and can deliver the inventory you need on time.
Market Your Brand
No one is going to find you if you don’t market your business. Start off with some good old word-of-mouth marketing. Spread the word to your family members, distant relatives, friends, and coworkers. That should yield a couple of orders. Another free but powerful marketing channel is social media. For many businesses, it’s their bread and butter when it comes to getting leads and sales. Market your brand on Facebook and Instagram. Post photos and videos and work with influencers to get wider exposure.
Build a Website
Finding great talent is difficult, especially for young businesses with limited capital and a non-existent HR department. Adopt best practices in HR that other companies use. This will set standards on who you should be bringing in to build your business and let you filter through candidates quickly.
Great ideas deserve to take form and become usable products or services that better the quality of life. Use this step-by-step guide to transform your idea into a business.