Embarking on the adventure of starting your own business is not easy, but it is possible! All businesses or enterprises are born from an idea to create a product or a service. TURNING YOUR IDEA INTO A BUSINESS requires courage, patience, planning, dedication, and, above all, passion.
The entrepreneurship part must be handled professionally, through specific processes or methods to avoid frustration and prevent you from incurring high costs.
Regardless of the sector or industry, we recommend following the Project Management guidelines to develop your venture or new business project. Consider your entrepreneurship as a project, understanding that it requires to complete a sequence of activities in a specified time, with a start and end date.
From our perspective, you should consider two phases: evaluating the feasibility of the idea and developing a good business plan.
Evaluating the feasibility of the proposal includes:
- Identifying the need for the product or service you want to offer; defining clear and measurable objectives; determining the component that will differentiate your product from others and its sales channel.
- Defining the client's profile. The "Role Play" technique is an excellent way to determine this.
- Evaluating your skills. If you don't have experience in the industry in which you want to develop your business, it might be useful to share your idea with someone else. In case you are exploring promoting your venture in another country, inviting a local to participate in the project might also be recommended.
Developing the Business Plan: Once you have followed step #1 and determined your idea's feasibility, you should create a detailed and personalized business plan adapted to your product or service. Your best tool will be to define the viability of your proposal. It's also essential to find professional advice that can objectively evaluate your business proposal.
Remember that it's wiser to invest in a business plan that will enable you to evaluate your proposal rather than start your business in the dark and risk losing money and time.
A good business plan must include:
- Details about the legal structure. A law or an accounting firm could help you understand which legal structure is best shaped for you since it will impact the project's financial results.
- A detailed analysis of your services/products, their sales price, the differentiating characteristics defined in the first stage, as well as its competitive advantages.
- The marketing strategy, branding development details aligned with the value proposal, client segmentation, and a strategic plan to reach your short, mid, and long-term goals.
- An organizational and operative structure chart; a preview of how your business will be operated, a definition of the type of personnel needed, sales and invoicing procedures, among other things.
- Risk analysis: evaluating advantages, disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses are essential when making projections on the business's solidness and possible growth.
- Financial analysis: investment budget (to determine the funds needed to get the business going), financing, sales projections, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios (cycles may vary, depending on the industry), cash flow, economic benefit (income vs. expenses). Projections must be estimated with a minimum of three years but ideally five.
- Exit Strategy: many people underestimate the importance of this. We recommend evaluating several scenarios; it all depends on what you would like to do in the future.
Once the business plan is ready, you must understand and analyze the results as well as the financial viability of your proposal. Once those steps are completed, you will now be prepared to set off on the adventure of starting and TURNING YOUR IDEA INTO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.
It is essential to keep in mind that directing and working for a business is entirely different from creating and managing your own.
WISHING YOU LOTS OF SUCCESS