So – you have an awesome business idea. You’ve bounced it around with your group of friends, talked your wife’s ear off about it, and you’re finally ready to take that idea and turn it into a reality – maybe even a reality that allows you to quit that 9 to 5 you hate.
The big question now is: how do you actually turn your concept into a functioning business? We’re here to tell you. Check out our list of step-by-step instructions built to take you from the vision board to the corporate board, so you can finally live your passion and run your own business.
Step 1: Start small
If you want to see your business succeed, then you need to build a foundation that you can comfortably grow from. It might be tempting to run out and get a massive small business loan, but this is a risky path, as you’re not sure whether your idea has what it takes to succeed just yet.
If your business idea allows for it, it’s probably a good idea to start a freelance side-gig. As they say, don’t quit your day job, at least not until you gain some experience and provable use cases for your product or service.
Once you do, see some traction, however – and start bringing in enough money to build up a bit of capital – you’ll want to think about your next steps.
Step 2: Grow slow and steady
Growing your business is essential to its success. Sure, you could stick around in Step 1 and keep it as a side-gig, but then you probably won’t be able to quit that desk job you’ve come to dread every Sunday night.
Take a look at these action-items that are critical during your early growth stage:
- Devote more and more time to your project – maybe even reducing your hours at work or looking for a part time job.
- Think about hiring extra help. Whether it’s freelanced help or a full-time employee, though, be sure to do a background check to protect your property. (Not sure how to run a background check? There are plenty of guide online.)
- Start thinking about investing more capital in your project, whether it’s your own funds or a loan.
Step 3: Focus on finances
Business is business, and even the best ideas can fail due to a poor financial plan. As you start to invest more money in your business, growing it from side-gig to full-time operation, you’ll want to think about how money is moving through your accounts.
It’s a good idea to invest in some small business accounting and bookkeeping during this stage, just to ensure that you’re breaking even each month. If not, you may need to reassess.
Step 4: Start courting investors
Looking for that surge of cash that can take you from a garage-based startup to a sleek urban office space? You need investors. Small business loans can only go so far, and you definitely don’t want to be running your business on top of a massive debt.
Investors can help you launch your business to new heights; the question is, how can you attract them? The best way is with a rock-solid and professional business plan. A business plan can is essentially the road map to your business’s future: how you plan on expanding, how you plan on improving profits, and what will build your customer base.
Step 5: Build your brand
Speaking of building your customer base, it’s vital that you also focus on building up your brand and its recognition. You can do this through clever marketing. Here are a few tips:
- Start a blog. No matter your industry, you want to be the source that customers go to when they need to answer questions related to your line of work.
- Invest in social media ads. Nobody’s watching cable TV anymore – Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok are where you need to be.
- Work on your community reputation. People trust local businesses that their friends are fans of. You definitely want a good rep in your home town.
Business ideas take a lot of effort, planning, and savvy to turn from an idea into reality. With this step-by-step guide, though, you’ll be well on your way.