For the uninitiated, starting a business seems like an almost impossible task. What will you sell? How will you sell it? How do you know if anyone is even going to buy from you?
These are all valid questions that new, prospective business owners typically ask themselves. Turns out, starting a business doesn’t have to be as complicated and scary as it seems. You don’t need to go all-in on the first go. Instead, you can safely and quickly test your idea, then move on to something else if it fails.
Below are 3 steps you can follow to start your own business this weekend.
- Generate an Idea
First thing you need to have to start a business is an idea. Fortunately, a viable one isn’t too hard to come up with.
Start by writing down all of the problems you face in a typical day. Step through your calendar hour by hour. Are there any potential solutions to those problems that you can come up with?
For example, if you’re busy and rarely have time to cook, chances are others are in that same boat too. Don’t worry if an idea already has a business that solves that problem. You can always find ways to differentiate yourself or serve an entirely different market.
Other ways to find ideas include Googling “business ideas” to get your brain churning, thinking about skills you could teach, or thinking of things you could do around activities you love.
- Validate It Quickly
After coming up with a solid idea, you might want to immediately start forming your LLC and do a bunch of other things typical businesses need.
Stop. You don’t need to do any of that just yet. Yes, it’s important someday, but not right out the gates.
Instead, find a way to tell others about your business and see if they would actually be one of your first customers. Start with family and friends.
If it’s a product or something like a mobile app, draw a sketch on a piece of paper. Tell people you’re making this and ask them if they would like to buy. If they say yes, tell them to put their money where their mouth is.
Congrats! You have your first paying customer. Now you just have to find a way to deliver on your promise.
At this stage of the game, you don’t need anything fancy, just a way to sell your idea.
- Create an MVP
By this point, you should have at least a small handful of paying customers. Now, you need to fulfill your orders with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
The first version of any product is always raw and a work in progress. That’s OK. The only thing you need to do is follow through on the commitment you placed in step 2. Upgrades can come later.
If your business offers a service, then you can just get to work serving your clients.
Do More of What Works
Whether you realize it or not, after acquiring customers and delivering on your product or service, you started a business. It’s that simple.
The next thing you want to do is more of what already worked. Approach other friends and family members, ask for referrals, and then go from there.
As your business hopefully grows, you can start figuring out all of the official “business” stuff along the way.