A great business idea is a start; however, the journey from idea to a thriving business is one that takes discipline, courage, and lots of hard work.
So, you have a business idea, congrats! Now what?
WRITE IT OUT
A great idea in your mind usually stays there. Taking the actionable step of writing out your idea on paper (or computer) is the start of bringing it to life. Take some time to write down the overall concept of your idea and anything else that comes to mind. Don’t let fear or perceived limitations hinder what you write down.
Although you may not know all the intricacies of your idea right now, write out what is present in your mind. You can always hone in on the vision as it becomes clearer.
Now that your great idea is on paper, you can refer back to it as you move on to the next step, which is your research phase. This is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. What does it take to start your idea? What type of investment is needed? Is there something like your idea already available? If so, how will yours be different? What state and local requirements are needed to establish yourself as a proper business? Is your business name available? What about a trademark?
All of these questions and more are what you will be researching during this phase. Answers to these questions will allow you to refer back to your idea to help you make adjustments as necessary. The answers to the questions should also force you to dive deeper into your vision to move into creating an actionable plan to make it come to life.
MAKE A PLAN
Are business plans always necessary? No. I didn’t launch People of Color with an official business plan, and to be honest, I still don’t have one. That doesn’t mean I didn’t write out the actionable steps I needed to take after doing my research, to actually launch. With that being said, if you don’t follow the route of creating an official business plan, still take time to write out a plan to get your idea going.
Without a plan, you can find yourself running around in circles, or worse, taking no action at all.
WORK YOUR PLAN
Having a plan is great! It gives you a roadmap to launch your business, and will continue to be a useful tool for everything you do in business. However, don’t think because you have a plan that things are just going to start happening. You will have to work your plan!
I consider this the hardest part. Taking action is personal. This is the part where you really have to put in the work, and hold yourself accountable to the idea you initially had, plus the course of action you must take to make it happen. If you don’t work your plan at this point, your idea remains exactly that, an idea.
Once you start working your plan, you’ll be moving closer and closer to launching your business with each step. While it sounds simple to read, there is much work that goes into this phase. There may be challenges and unforeseen obstacles that come your way. When these times come, take time to look back at your original idea that you wrote out. Remind yourself why you are doing this and how it will impact the world once it’s here. Then keep pressing forward!
There’s too many things to name that go into a successful launch, and I’ll assume you’ve discovered what those things are doing your researching, planning, and working your plan phases. So I’ll skip to the part where I say CONGRATULATIONS on launching your new product/service business! Keep in mind that launching is only the beginning part of the journey. Now you must nurture, feed, and help your newborn business grow. I hate to say, the cycle starts all over again!
Running a business requires constant learning/researching, implementation (and pivoting when necessary), writing out plans, and executing them. Don’t let the world miss out on the change you have inside of you by keeping your idea to yourself. Take the first step and write it down, and then keep going.