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Every business begins with an idea, and if you are lucky and opportunistic enough, that idea may turn into a successful venture. So to help you start your business on the right foot, here are 5 essential steps to help you develop your idea:
1. Determine what your idea solves
In the process of refining your business idea, you should clearly identify what problem your business idea will solve or which need it will fulfill. For example, is your objective to improve the quality of an existing product? Will you shorten the delivery time of a service? Will you create something innovative that will change the way people live?
2. Identify what makes you different
Ideas are rarely unique, but that’s something you can’t help. So why would someone spend his or her money on your product instead of someone else’s? You thus have to clearly define what will be your value proposition, in other words, what sets you apart from others. For this purpose, it is important to explain how your product or service is different from the ones offered by your competitors.
3. Identify your target market
Who are the people that will buy your product or service? How old are they? What’s their occupation? Where do they hang out? What are their consumption habits? Your product will be competing with many already established and recognized brands. Therefore, it is imperative for you to define your customer base as precisely as possible, in order to understand, meet and even surpass their expectations.
4. Write a simplified business plan
Once you’ve determined what you will sell, who you will sell it to and what makes you unique, you should summarize everything in a couple of pages. This simplified business plan should also include a financial plan, detailing how you will actually make money. The financial analysis should include cost and revenue projections. This will also help you price your product or service adequately to ensure sustainable profits.
5. Build a prototype
Building a prototype is an excellent way to bring your idea to life. It will also help potential investors and creditors have a clearer understanding of your product. Finally, a prototype is a perfect way to test your product towards your target market. This will allow you to adjust your offer as a function of your customers’ preferences.
At the end of the day a business idea is just and idea. There is no guarantee of success. So in order to turn it into a viable business, you will have to put in a lot of work. Having a keen knowledge of the industry, setting realistic expectations, finding the right business partners, prioritizing the right objectives, securing financing, and getting lucky, are all factors that will help you turn your business idea into a successful venture.