Develop your idea
Before you start on the nuts and bolts of planning, find somewhere peaceful to relax. Visualise the business you can build around your idea. You’ll need to invest time, money and passion into your business to make it work, so draw a picture in your mind of how it’s going to look.
Do what you love
Are you enthusiastic about this business and what it offers your potential customers? This is crucial, because you’re far more likely to persevere and solve any problems that may appear when you love what you’re doing. Believe in your business with your heart, soul and your wallet and your success will be all the sweeter.
Solve a problem
When you strip any business down to its core function, you’ll find that it solves a problem. At first you’ll probably be more excited with your idea and the solution you’ve created, but make sure it’s actually solving a specific problem. When you know how your idea can solve problems, it will be easier to pitch to potential investors, partners and customers.
Find your market
Your first step to working out where your idea fits into a sea of consumers is to picture who your ideal customer is. They all have different habits and needs, but they also all have the same problem that your idea is going to solve. Discover how your solution will fit into the market and into the lives of your potential customers.
When you’re starting out in business, having partners working alongside you can make a huge difference. They can act as support or a sounding board for your ideas and reassure you that your idea is actually going to work. Not every business needs a team though. If you’re a solo business, a consultant, freelancer or entrepreneur, building a network of business contacts will help increase your knowledge. People are usually happy to share what they’ve learned from their own experience of starting a business.
Test your idea
When you’re ready to launch your product or service, start with a trial run before you invest all your capital. You’ll probably learn something you weren’t expecting and you’ll be able to solve any problems before you go live. You could gauge interest by starting a Facebook group about your new service, for example, or set up a shop on eBay so you can test the market for your new product without having to invest a lot of cash up front.
Start small to keep costs down
Some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Apple, Google and Amazon, started life in a garage, at a kitchen table or in a corner of someone’s home. If you’re starting a business from home, a traditional fixed telephone line can be an expensive and unnecessary cost.
With cloud-based systems such as a VoIP phone service, you pay a low, fixed monthly cost, so there are no unexpected phone bills. You can change your package or add users at any time and there’s no installation required. Find out more in our guide to business VoIP phone systems.
You can also discover how VoIP can transform a small business in our case study.