There are many people out there with dreams of entrepreneurship. They likely have several business ideas, and they may even be able to develop clear visions for what those businesses will eventually look like. However, when it comes to turning those ideas into reality, they’re not sure where to begin or what steps to take to get there.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who falls into this category, there are a few different paths you can take to get started. Below, seven members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their thoughts on the steps you should take to turn your idea into a fully realized business and how those steps will help your new business get up and running successfully.
1. Test Your Idea
I would probably create a simple website with my product or service featured on it and then use Google or Facebook to drive traffic to my website and try to “sell” my non-existent product or service. Of course, the transaction on the website will not go through, but this would allow me to experiment with my offerings, see customer behaviors on my website and get a clear understanding of the demand and the customer segments that are likely to buy from me. Based on this real-life data, I would then proceed to connecting with my customers and having a conversation about their needs and why they were attracted to my offering. On the other hand, if I find out that there is nobody who wants to buy my product or service, I’d continue adjusting my product or service until I got my first “buyers.” – Feruza Djamalova, Sobirovs Law Firm
2. Get Your Pricing Right
It’s very hard to change prices once you get started, and a lot of people come up with a great idea, but concentrate on sales projections rather than profit intake. Profit is essential to the longevity and success of your business. If you spend the time to determine how much profit you need to make and work backward from there, carefully considering all of the potential costs, you will arrive at the right price and be on the right path from the start. You’ll also have better cash flow, which is key to being able to make the moves your business needs at each stage of growth. – Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia
3. Think Deeply Through Your Idea
The first step when you have a business idea is dedicating deep work to your thought process. For me, this includes setting a 90-minute block of uninterrupted work time during the most creative part of my day: mornings. During this block, I write out my ideas and develop a plan based on math. I run numbers and add strategy to my plan to see if the plan is viable and makes sense with the numbers. The main takeaway is running the numbers and looking at the data to make data-driven decisions that are based in logic. – Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss
4. Commit To It By Setting A Date
Commit to it with a date on the calendar. Say, “On this date, I will start turning this idea into a reality!” There is power in setting a date. Hold yourself accountable. It’s too easy to say “one day.” When is that “one day” ever going to come if you don’t put it on the calendar and commit to it? When you choose a day to begin making this dream a reality, there is no turning back. Decide how much time you want to spend on this idea. It could be one hour a week. Four hours a month will get you further into making that dream a reality than telling yourself “one day.” And as you progress with your idea, it’s normal to become obsessive about it. When you first started, you were scheduling the time you could spend on it. It’s surprising how quickly you find the time as you start to see your idea forming. – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo
5. Ensure You Can Follow Your Own Path
Focus on your own route and make sure you can make your idea into a reality without the need to copy or check on others. If your idea is mainly focused on how others did it, you should double check and see if your idea was just inspired by someone and there’s a better way to do it or if the idea is solely yours and you have the ability to act on it without the need to copy someone else. If that’s the case, then it’s time to start on it! – Daisy Jing, Banish
6. Get Your Idea Validated
All ideas sound great and feasible on paper. But before you turn your vision into a reality, you have to get your idea validated. Do your research and canvas the industry you are trying to enter. Talk to various stakeholders in that space. Ask them pertinent questions about their experiences, challenges, celebrations and everything in between. Learning their advantages and pain points will help you forecast challenges you can face as you build your business. Make a basic pitch and pilot it across these conversations. Do a quick sentiment analysis of what people involved in your industry, your peers and your mentors feel about this idea before going public with it. Doing this at an early stage helps you position the idea better in the market once you are ready to launch and scale. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
7. Write A Business Plan
The first step to turning your vision into a reality is to create a business plan. A business plan is the foundation of any business and it’s the best way to ensure that you are on the right track. Once you have a plan, you can start exploring your market and finding out what makes your idea unique. It’s important for you to understand what sets your company apart from others in order to make it successful. Once you have a solid understanding of what makes your company unique, it’s time to start looking for investors and partners who can help further develop your idea. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC