Roughly three in five Americans (61%) have had an idea for starting a business, while around a third (34%) have had more than one. 92%, however, didn’t follow through with turning their idea into a reality, according to one Zapier-commissioned Harris Poll survey of over 2,000 Americans. For those who possess a fantastic idea and want to bring it to life, however, doing so doesn’t have to be impossible. From the importance of refining your idea to other necessary steps, here’s a brief overview of a few key steps worth considering.
Filling in the gaps
For those who possess a business idea, ensuring that it transforms into one that’s profitable in the long run starts with plenty of research and attention to detail upfront, which will help refine the idea in turn. The Business News Daily post underlines the importance of taking care of little details when planning to bring life to a business idea, such as clarifying your target customer base and defining the ‘why’ behind your idea, pointing out “If the idea isn’t something you’re passionate about or if there’s no market for your creation, it might be time to brainstorm other ideas.”
From your business’ purpose to market analysis/strategy, finances, etc., eventually, such details should be compiled into a business plan, which will outline your business goals and strategies for the future. One Harvard Business Review post notes that on average, the most successful entrepreneurs were those that wrote their business plan between six and 12 months after deciding to start a business, and that writing a plan in such a timeframe “increased the probability of venture viability success by 8%.”
Market research and competitive analysis will further help expand your initial idea. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), combining both will allow you to find a competitive advantage for your small business. For example, market research will allow you to gather valuable insight regarding demand, market size, market saturation, etc., which will allow you to confirm and improve your initial idea. Competitive analysis, on the other hand, can be used to find a market advantage by helping you learn from businesses that are competing for your potential customers.
Exploring business structures (and making a choice)
After doing the necessary research, creating a comprehensive business plan, and figuring out the financial aspects of your business, choosing the right business structure is another necessary component of a strong and successful venture. With that in mind, there are a few options worth exploring, which will determine your business registration requirements, taxes, as well as your personal liability, to name a few key points. A post from Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) highlights the four main forms of business structures in the U.S., which are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). According to the post’s summary, a sole proprietorship and partnership are simple to set up, “since they are not required to meet ongoing requirements such as shareholder meetings and voting,” while a corporation and LLC provide limited liability protection to their owners.
When choosing the right business structure for you, carrying out extensive research beforehand will allow you to get a full picture regarding all of your options, thus leading you to decide which structure will fit your business best. After selecting a business structure, choosing a service to help you through the paperwork may be your next step. For example, those looking to form an LLC may find that using a popular service such as Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom, or ZenBusiness can bring great peace of mind when bringing your business idea to fruition. Exploring comprehensive reviews of popular services is just one way to decide which company to use — for instance, LegalZoom reviews for LLC formation services covers a variety of points, from the services offered to prices, to customer service and beyond.
A strong team can make an impact
While many small businesses don’t have any employees, those that choose to implement a team should note that how you choose and lead a team can set the stage for a successful venture — whether you have three employees or a dozen. Recruiting the right people for the job is just one major consideration when seeking to build the right team for your business, and avoiding the standard interview is just one key way to bring on the right crew. According to one New York Times Business post, taking a prospective candidate on a tour and introducing them to some colleagues is just one hiring strategy that can give you insight as to who you’re considering for the position.
Beyond hiring the right people for your team, how you lead your team is another valuable facet at turning your initial business idea into one that’s profitable. Ensuring that employee happiness is a priority is just one valuable consideration, as happy staff are more motivated and driven in the workplace — not to mention more innovative and engaged, which can play a role in increased productivity, according to one post from The CEO Magazine. KOSEC – Kodari Securities Founder and CEO Michael Kodari tells The CEO Magazine, “People want to work in an organization that truly gives; not just back to society but also to the people within its four walls,” going on to say, “They want to work for a company that values them, embraces their ideas and creativity,while also providing them with a platform to reach their true potential and challenge them.”
Taking your idea from the drawing board and transforming it into a successful, profitable business can be unnerving. However, by breaking down the endeavor into more manageable steps — such as research, business structure, and team building, you can make a mammoth task more manageable — thus making your idea a reality.