What are the next steps when you have a great business idea?
You’ve had one of those lightbulb moments and are excited about a new business idea. How do you validate the idea as a viable profitable business? How do you get it going?
Is Someone Else Doing It Already?
The first thing to do is to Google it, and see who else is doing this already. In reality, few business ideas are truly unique. That can be okay. The difference is those entrepreneurs who actually take action on those ideas. However, you also need to make sure you can be at least 10x, if not 100x better.
So, if there is competition, how will you be better? Will you be faster, better quality, cheaper or just deliver far superior service
Why Isn’t Anyone Else Doing It Right Now?
If not one else is doing something similar, why not? Is it really that bold and unique of an idea no one else has thought of it? Or has it been so hard then everyone else who tried failed?
It’s important to know this. Then also understand how you can succeed where everyone else has failed.
What Are You Willing To Sacrifice To Make It Happen?
It’s great to be excited about your nice business idea. To become an entrepreneur you have to incredible optimistic to make the leap. Yet, make no mistake, it is going to take real work. There are going to be challenges and tough days.
In fact, the truth is that you will be facing new challenges every day. Most days will be tough. Your job as an entrepreneur is to take on these daily challenges and fight through for the good days. Those days can be worth it all, but you are going to have to work for and sacrifice for them.
Your business idea has to be so compelling you are willing to commit and give up some things. Know your line in the sand at the beginning. Will you commit a year of your life?
Will you be willing to sacrifice your time and work 100 hours a week on this to make it a successful business? Will you be willing to move to the other side of the country to make this happen? Will you bet all of your savings and credit on making it work?
How Big Is The Potential?
When you are thinking about the next steps when you have a great business idea ask yourself if this is this a part-time hobby sized business. Does it have the potential to be a small local business? Or does it have the wings to become a big fast-growth startup worth billions?
How big is the total industry? How big is your potential share of that?
What’s the smallest you can start with? The easiest, most bite-sized MVP you can launch with? Then how big is the largest vision you can imagine for this venture?
How Much Money Will You Need?
How much money is it going to take to get this business started and get it to standing on its own two feet?
Many of today’s greatest corporations were started with just $1,000. Others have raised millions of dollars before they even started. Know how much you’ll need to get through to being profitable.
Once you have an idea of this dollar figure, where will you get it from? Do you have it in extra cash on hand? Can your friends and family pitch in? Can you get a loan to get you going? Or will you need to tap outside investors? If you need more capital there is crowdfunding, angel investors, startup accelerator programs, venture capital firms, and other funds.
Consider a fundraising training course or connecting with a fundraising coach in order to understand the pros and cons of these different sources and how they work.
Whose Help Will You Need?
In terms of the next steps when you have a great business idea, remember that starting and running a business is a team game. You have owners, coaches, managers, and those on the front lines. You simply can’t do it alone. You need help. The better help you can get, the better your chances of surviving and thriving. Make a list, starting hiring.
Talk To Customers
One of the most important things you can do is to get out and talk to your potential customers. Validate that they have this problem and want this solution. Whenever possible, show them a prototype and ask for a financial commitment. All the thumbs up and even free users can be worth nothing unless customers are willing to pay real money for what you are selling.
Claim The Name
Act fast to reserve your business name, website domain name and matching social media handles.
Then get your business bank account open so that you can actually start accepting incoming money. Either from sales or fundraising efforts.
Create A Pitch Deck
Invest the time to create a fantastic pitch deck. One that will act as an internal guide as to what you are working on and where you are focused on going and need to do next. Then you can use this powerful document to recruit partners, the most talented employees, and best fitting investors.
Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
Remember when thinking about the next steps when you have a great business idea that nothing really matters until you start selling and making money. Yes, there are a few notable companies that seem to have gotten away without this important piece of the puzzle for a while. Some have been unprofitable for years. Remember these are the exceptions. Get out there, take action, sell, bring in cash and make real profits.