Do you have a killer business idea that you can’t wait to bring to life? Maybe it’s time to start your own business.
Launching your own company has never been easier, thanks to the internet and all the free resources available online. However, starting a business isn’t as simple as creating a company profile on LinkedIn or posting your services on an online marketplace like Etsy.
Here is everything you need to know about how to turn your business idea into reality.
1) Research your idea and the market
Before even thinking about how to turn a business idea into reality, you first need to make sure there is a demand for your product and that there is an opportunity to make money with it.
Start by researching your market, the problems it faces, and the current state of the industry.
Talk to existing customers, partners, and stakeholders to gain insights into their challenges and pain points.
You can also use tools like Google Trends to track popular topics and search terms to discover new industries and topics that have recently gained popularity and could be worth exploring.
If your idea is original, there are several ways to determine if it actually has the potential to succeed in the market.
Conducting surveys and polls among your social media and customer base can help you evaluate your idea and the interest it generates.
Another way to vet your idea is to use the idea validation formula from the Lean Startup methodology.
2) Find the right company name
Choosing the right company name can be challenging, especially if you also want it to reflect the nature of your business or product.
You also want to make sure the name is available for trademark registration. A good name will be short and memorable, memorable, and original.
You can find name ideas by looking at your business concept, consulting thesaurus, or browsing business name generators.
Once you have some name ideas, you can use the following criteria to choose one that best fits your business concept.
- Relevance – Does the name reflect your business concept?
- Memorability – Can people easily remember your name?
- Originality – Is the name not too generic or common?
- Catchiness – Will it stand out in a positive way?
- Scannability – Can people easily read and pronounce your name?
- Shortness – Is the name relatively short and concise?
3) Write a business plan
If you’ve ever wondered how to turn a business idea into reality, then writing a business plan is truly important.
Let’s dig a little deeper:
This document will help you structure your idea, gain clarity around your objectives, and most importantly, convince investors or banks that your business has strong potential.
A business plan is a strategic document that outlines your company’s mission and goals, its financial situation, and the marketing strategies you plan to use to achieve your goals.
Ideally, the business plan should be written in the first person (as if you are talking to a reader), and it should follow a standard format. The introduction should include a brief overview of your company or product, including its history, the problem it solves, and the value it provides to customers.
The problem statement should be a clear statement of the problem that your company aims to solve. The solution should be a description of how your company plans to solve the problem.
The marketing section should include information about your target customers, the methods you plan to use to reach your customers, and the techniques you intend to use to convert your customers into paying customers.
The financial section should include information about the amount of money you plan to raise, where you plan to get the money, and how you plan to use the money to make your company profitable.
The concluding section should include a brief overview of your company, its history, its financial backers, and how it plans to solve the problem it was created to solve.
4) Decide on your company type and registries
Once you’ve come up with a killer business idea and written a business plan outlining how you will make it a reality, you need to decide how your company will be structured.
There are several business types that you can choose from, and each comes with its own pros and cons.
Choose the structure that best fits your skillset, financial situation, and industry.
- Sole proprietorship – This legal structure is the simplest and easiest to set up. It’s also the most common type of business, with about 90% of businesses being sole proprietorships. With this structure, you are the business and the business is you. You’ll be responsible for paying taxes on all of your earnings and risk losing everything if the business fails. There are some legal and financial advantages of starting as a sole proprietor, such as the ability to write off certain expenses against your income, no need for insurance, and no need to hire employees. However, you won’t be able to take advantage of business growth financings like Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or venture capital financing.
- Partnership – A partnership is an agreement between two or more parties to share ownership of a company and its profits and losses. Partnerships are governed by state law and are not regulated by the federal government. Partnerships are easy to set up and maintain, and they can be an excellent way to start a business with friends or family members. Setting up a partnership can be as simple as writing down the terms of the partnership, such as the share of profits and responsibilities, and signing a document. Partnerships are very simple to end, too, and there are no limitations on the type of business a partnership can be.
- Corporation – A corporation is a legal entity that is formed by filing articles of incorporation with a state government and paying a fee. There are several types of corporations, including S corporations, C corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). The main distinction between these types is how their income and assets are taxed. Corporations are useful for larger businesses or businesses with investors or venture capitalists.
- Limited liability company – An LLC is a legal structure that provides the tax and legal benefits of a corporation while being managed like a partnership. With an LLC, you are treated as a single business owner, yet you have limited liability. This means that if your business fails, the other owners are not responsible for paying off any outstanding debts.
5) Determine your marketing strategy
Once you’ve established your company structure and are ready to launch your business, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy for bringing new customers to your brand and generating leads and sales.
You can’t expect your business to flourish without a consistent flow of customers. Unfortunately, launching any type of business, let alone a digital one, is challenging these days.
With so much competition and noise on the internet, it’s crucial to have a marketing strategy in place from the very get-go.
Your marketing strategy should be focused on generating leads, building your brand, and driving sales. There are much different marketing and brand-building strategies you can use to reach your audience and build a loyal customer base. Start by identifying your target market and its pain points.
Then, create and publish content that solves those problems and answers your customers’ questions.
Choosing which marketing channels to use to promote your business and brand is an important decision. Start with the channels you feel most comfortable with and can dedicate the most time to.
Sounds like a lot of things to do, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
We tend to be discouraging ourselves from even trying because we think there are so many things to know and do before making a move. But all those tools you need won’t help unless you actually get started.
I know this because until recently I had a tough time overcoming these fears. That was until I watched the free video by life coach Jeanette Brown. She helped me overcome my fears and found a way to overcome them with her simple and practical techniques.
She calls it the “Fear List”, but I prefer the label “the Junk Mail Strategy”. I’ve actually used this strategy myself and can attest to the results.
Moreover, she also has a very powerful tool that helps you do exactly what I listed above. It’s called the “Do with Dummies” guide and it is an excellent resource for people who are just starting out.
To find out what the secret to my success is and how you can use the “Fear List” for your business, check out her free video here.
6) Define your product or device offering
You’ve come up with a killer business idea, written a business plan, and created a marketing strategy to bring potential customers to your brand.
You’ve also identified your target market and its pain points.
Now it’s time to take everything you’ve learned so far and define the product or service offering you are going to provide to your customers.
- What do you want your brand to be known for?
- What product or service do you want to be associated with your brand?
It might seem simplistic, but creating a solid product or service offering is essential for any business. Without a clear product or service offering, you won’t be able to have a consistent brand experience. It’s also impossible to build a strong brand if you can’t deliver what you promise.
7) Design your brand identity and experience
The final step in creating your business. Designing your brand identity is an essential part of making sure that you are known by your target market.
Many, if not most, brands in business today have a solid brand identity and experience. This is one of the reasons why brands have become so powerful these days.
But the quality of their brand identity and experience can vary greatly.
The key to building a strong brand is to make sure your brand identity is consistent and unique from other brands that are competing for the same audience. Going as an underdog has one very important advantage: you have the chance to be noticed by your target market.
A new brand that’s innovative, but doesn’t quite understand its customers will be looked at as a gimmick.
That’s why you must make sure that your brand experience is consistent with your brand identity.
If not, your brand will be considered an imposter that can’t be taken seriously.
One of the easiest ways to build a strong brand is to look at the strongest and most valuable brands in business today and use them as inspiration.
Pick a handful of brands you want to model your brand after and do some research on what makes each unique.
Then, look for common traits and characteristics among them. In other words, look for the commonalities in how they design their brand identity and experience.
Hopefully, you’re seeing that there are only a few things that you need to do in order to launch your business successfully.
And if you were really motivated, you could even get started and make some progress on these things right away.
That’s very powerful and it goes a long way in getting people excited about starting their own business.
So, I’m going to leave you with this thought:
If you want to start a business and create your brand, make a plan. Focus on its execution and success.
Take baby steps each day by following the advice in this guide and get started with what you can do today. Do that consistently for at least 30 days, even if you don’t see any results immediately.