Every once in a while you get a great business idea, one that you are absolutely sure would fly. But you don’t take action. There are a few easy steps to take to turn an idea into a business; nine steps, to be exact, according to Stephen Key, the author of One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs.
Inc.com sums up his suggestions:
1. Test quick, test often. “The real test is whether people will reach in their pockets and pull out dollar bills,” Key says.
2. Understand the market. Where your product fits, how it’s different from other products, and whether you can sell at the right price point in that category.
3. Determine the manufacturing cost. Contact manufacturers, send over specs, find out if it can be made and the cost of making it. To protect your idea, have manufacturers sign an NDA or file a provisional patent.
4. Determine your margin. Your profit margin must allow you to compete day in and day out. If it won’t, move on to another idea.
5. Get real feedback. Talk with local retailers and go to regional trade shows.
6. Test before you go into full production. Set up a webpage showing your product, complete with a video. Share it on social media.
7. Then do the math again. Once you understand your manufacturing costs you can put all the pieces together and decide if you really want to take your shot.
8. Start small. Sell one. Then sell two. Start small, learn about your product, see how it looks at retail, determine changes you should make to packaging and marketing.
8. Keep trying.
9. Remember nothing is forever. One product will not build a business. One product is a start.
Not to overwhelm, but Madame Noire has a few more steps to add.
- A business plan is a must. Most experts say that a business plan only increases your odds at success. It gives you a written blueprint, not only for your self but for potential investors and employees as well.
- Immerse yourself in the industry. Network with people in the industry you are about to enter. You will gain valuable insight on the business climate and make key contacts.
- Know when to stop. Some ideas are not great business ideas. If you get poor results during your market test, either redesign your product/service or realize that there is not a market for it.
- Check out the competition. Find out what they are doing right, and what they are doing wrong. Use this data when prepping your own business.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Organize a group of people who believe in your idea and who can help get it off the ground. Having a support system is a must.