Everyone has great ideas, ones that come in the middle of the night or a unique solution to an everyday problem. However, creating a business from an idea is more challenging, from drafting a business plan to securing funding to creating a business. The first step is to research all aspects of a proposed business model. Ask yourself if this is a suitable idea for an eCommerce store, or if a brick and mortar store is a better option. If starting a content based website, perhaps a subscription or ad-based revenue system would provide the most income. Determine if it is a goal for this product to grow quickly, becoming a target for a larger company to purchase or offer stock to public investors. There are many options to choose from when making a business plan.
After finalizing a business plan, the next step is financing. It can sound daunting to ask for thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of dollars to bring an idea into reality. There are as many ways to finance a new business as there are business models. Many banks specialize in offering loans to entrepreneurs, and a complete business plan can easily open this door. Grants and loans from government backed funds are also available to many entrepreneurs, and can be found through the U.S. Small Business Administration website (www.sba.gov) or a local office. Sometimes traditional funding isn’t available for a particular business, or a single investor isn’t willing to take the risk. Crowdfunding for startups, niche products, or first-time entrepreneurs has become a staple of small business financing. When considering a financing source be sure to include repayment schedules and liability, should the new business not succeed.
With a plan and funds to bring a new business into reality, proceed carefully. Mistakes made early in the business cycle can result in fines, legal entanglements or dissatisfied customers. Take the time to research legal requirements, from tax documentation to trademarks and copyrights. If multiple employees are involved, be sure to abide by federal and state labor laws and provide proper working conditions. Operating an eCommerce website crosses international boundaries, so find out if any import or export regulations apply to your product and act accordingly. Translation may be an important factor, too, as many customers may wish to read about a product in a language other than English. Remember, international shipping rates are much higher, and packages take much longer to reach foreign destinations. The situations listed here are only a few of the pitfalls that await a new business. Carefully think about each aspect of a business to find potential pitfalls.
Enjoy The Process
Most importantly, enjoy the process of making an idea into reality. Make time to write a fully researched business plan, choose an appropriate source of funding, and think through all aspects of the new business. If you plan ahead, your business will have a much higher chance of succeeding. Then you can enjoy seeing the results, and learning from this unique experience.