Every Fortune 500 company existing today started as an idea — a dream, even. But with hard work, diligence and the right plan, these business owners turned their tiny startup idea into a multimillion dollar company.
The point is that everyone starts somewhere, and who’s to say your tiny idea won’t one day grow into the next big thing? It’s possible…you just need to know where to start!
It takes a lot to become a successful entrepreneur. These are the first four baby steps you need to take in order to get your idea off the ground, but remember: hard work is required throughout your journey!
- Settle on Your Startup Idea
It’s one thing to have a tiny idea or a concept, but before you can truly be an entrepreneur you have to have a fully realized business idea on your hands. It’s not enough to think “what if something existed that solved this problem?” It has to be more concrete: “I have a solution to this real world problem.”
This isn’t to say you have to have the entire business ready to go from the jump. Worry about branding and packaging design later; these are extemporaneous details at this point. The very first thing you have to do is fully realize your startup idea and get it onto paper.
- Set Some Realistic Goals
Now that you know what your business is going to be, ask yourself this question: what do you want to do with it? Is it a restaurant franchise you want to take global? Is it a QVC-type product you can sell in rotations? Or is it a social media management company that you wouldn’t mind selling off in five years?
No one’s saying you have to plan out your entire business’ longevity and stick to some rigid plan, but a business made without goals in mind is a business that won’t succeed.
- Gather Data
Before you can shop your idea around to people who can help make your dreams reality, you have to have some sort of hard data on hand that proves your idea is a good one. For instance, you’ve made a prototype of a small machine that professionally cleans toilets, sinks and other bathroom fixtures. How does it work? Who all have you gotten to try this product?
Now think about harder data: what is the market for this product? Who will buy this product? How much does it cost to make vs. how much you’re willing to sell the product for? From concepts to facts and figures, you need to gather data that will convince people your product is worthwhile.
- Pitch Your Idea
Finally, you can’t truly know how the market will react to your product or business until you actually pitch the idea. Depending on the type of startup you have in mind, this could be distributors or partners interesting in pushing a product. It might be your initial group of startup employees or a company that you want to B2B partner with.
When you pitch your business idea to interested parties, some may not be enthusiastic — and that’s okay. Listen to feedback. Sometimes you need to start all the way back at square one, but this information is vital to creating a startup that truly succeeds.