There’s a lot of things to admire about entrepreneurs. They are passionate individuals who like to see their ideas turn into flourishing businesses. They create businesses that create jobs and benefit many people. They want to make a difference; they always challenge how products or services could still be made better. They don’t sit idly, instead, they are always in search of opportunities. And in the long run, if they do their businesses right, entrepreneurs can become very successful financially.
Does this make you want to become an entrepreneur? We don’t blame you. We would be quick to add, though, that moving from business idea to business launch requires a huge amount of courage and effort.
Where do you start? How do you go about launching your business? Here are some ideas that will catapult your business from possibility to reality:
Step 1 – Don’t Stop at an Idea
All successful businesses begin with an idea, but it should not end there. After your initial light bulb moment, you need to take concrete action towards seeing your idea turn into a viable business.
One of the things most successful entrepreneurs do is to research the viability of their business idea. They survey the market and check the people’s pulse on their offered product or service. They also check for existing competition and what their unique selling proposition is.
Entrepreneurs also take their ideas outside their heads and test it in real-life settings. You may already know that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he could invent the light bulb. Colonel Sanders delicious Kentucky Fried Chicken’s recipe of secret herbs and spices was rejected 1,000 times before a restaurant picked it up. Henry Ford had two previous automotive companies that failed before he finally had success with Ford Motors.
They are just some examples of inspiring entrepreneurs who did not stop at merely ideas, but who worked on testing, refining, and acting on their ideas to turn them into transformative businesses.
Step 2 – Clearly identify what is your Business
Are you in the business of managing real estate properties, or selling them, or both? Are you a gown rental company or a costume rental company? You must clearly identify what your business is – what you’re offering and what you’re not.
It also important for you to identify what your business is as you go about registering your business. Registering the right business will help you choose the right tax payer profile and might even enable you to tap on tax reliefs which may be suitable for your business. Have a clear definition of what your business is from day one.
Step 3 – Talk about your Business, then Walk the Talk
It may be challenging at the start, especially if your business is something people have never heard of before, but you must open your mouth and tell everyone about your business. Telling people about your business is one of the most effective ways to advertise it.
More importantly, you should walk the talk. If you’re selling a diet programme, then the effects of this diet programme should be seen in you. If you’re selling clothes, then you should dress well. If you’re selling green, ethical products, then you should patronize green, ethical products, too. Be the business you want to be. After all, as an entrepreneur, your business is an extension of your identity.
Step 4 – Build your Brand
What are some of the companies today that resonate with you as a consumer? Coca-Cola, FedEx, or Apple are just some of the brands that resonate with millions of consumers worldwide. How did they manage to come across the consumers’ consciousness so effectively? The answer is in building brands.
Effective branding communication doesn’t happen overnight – it takes years of consistent efforts. It’s never too early in your business to start building your brand. How do you do it? Perhaps Amazon’s Jeff Bezos definition of what branding is may help; he said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”
What message do you want to convey to your consumers about your product? Answer this question and you can formulate a lot of creative branding techniques for your business.
Step 5 – Set Targets
If you’re not selling anything, then you’re not in business. And if you’re not setting targets in sales, then you’re not selling to make a clear profit.
Formidable businesses are achieved by setting clear targets and constantly striving to achieve them.
For example, you can target to achieve 20 new clients every week by week 10. Or you can target to achieve $400,000 monthly sales revenue. What would you do to meet your targets? What would you do after you have met your targets?
Set targets and achieve them, and then set new, and higher targets all over again. In business, the road to improvement sees no end.
Step 6 – Launch your Business
Having done all these, you’re ready to launch your business! Remember, your work is not done after you have launched your business, though – on the contrary, it only had just begun.
Make sure that you have fully complied to statutory requirements of launching a new business, such as having a duly registered business and business name. You would benefit throughout the entire life span of your business if you complied with government mandates on company incorporation from the first time you set up shop. To be sure you’re not missing any of the statutory requirements, engaging a business registration firm to register your business for you and to regularly file statutory reports as you do your business will ease your burden on administrative matters so you can channel your time and efforts to nurturing and growing your business instead.
The life of an entrepreneur has so many rewards – including managing your own time and finances, working anytime of the day or night whenever inspiration sparks, and the freedom to path your own destiny. Being an entrepreneur, you are literally the captain of your ship and the master of your sole – there is no limit to where you can take your business if you have the imagination and the passion for it.
Always remember that as an entrepreneur, “being your own boss” is usually a misnomer: when you own your business, you will have to be a boss and a staff at the same time especially during the early years of your business.
When customers arrive at your shop, you being the business owner should be the most enthusiastic person to greet them. Even if you manage to hire somebody to do this job for you later on, you will still have to entertain customers, pitch your products or services to them, and sell all the time. It’s the stuff of being an entrepreneur – you have to work at growing your business all the time.
The good news is you can get help for administrative aspects of your business like filing statutory reports on a regular basis to become compliant with government requirements. It would be smart to outsource this to a corporate services firm you can trust as your partner, so you can channel more of your energy into growing your business.
There you have it – six steps to turn your business from possibility to reality. We hope this inspires you to take your business from mere idea to launch.