Even if you’ve got a dozen great ideas for lucrative business opportunities, turning one into a real enterprise takes proper planning, effort, and investment. By taking it one step at a time, however, you can make the process clearer and less intimidating.
Map Out a Plan of Action with Clear Deadlines
To make sure you do everything necessary to convert ideas into reality, get everything out of your head and onto paper (or into a backed-up digital document). Rather than simply jotting down your loose thoughts and ideas, work out a structured schedule—complete with due dates—in which you’ll hit milestones like the following.
Identify Your Goals and Mission
What will your business aim to achieve and why? What problems do you want to solve? Your answers may be lofty, or they may be quite simple; a book subscription service, for example, might have the goal of introducing readers to new and interesting books, reducing customer effort, and helping little-known authors gain readership.
Give Your Business a Name
Naming your business can be one of the most fun parts of the process. It’s important to remember, however, that your name is the first representation of your business that customers will see. Brainstorm with business partners or trusted friends to come up with business name ideas that suit your goals and values.
Consider how a name can affect your perceived authority. A clever, pun-based name could be perfect for a fun kids’ clothing boutique, but probably wouldn’t be good for a financial investment firm.
Work on Your Branding
You’ll also want to flesh out your branding, including the types of messaging you’re going to use, logos, imagery, colors, terminology, etc. Any advertising, branded products, or other concepts you’ll be using should fall within brand guidelines to make your business memorable, professional, and easily recognizable.
Set Up a Business Website
In today’s world, having a website—even if it’s just a Facebook profile—is all but required for success in business. Create an online space that prospective customers can visit to learn more about your company, purchase products, and/or inquire about services. Your site can drive business directly and extend your reach by showing up in search results.
Get the Necessary Licenses and/or Permits
Every business has to meet certain requirements to operate legally. Find out what kinds of licensing, registration, and/or permits you may need and make sure you have all the necessary documentation in order before you begin doing business. For example, if you intend to sell products in New York, you’ll need to make sure you have a New York seller’s permit.
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