Do you often find yourself dreaming about that potential Fortune 500 business idea you had over a glass of wine last weekend? Do you see other people’s businesses and think ‘I could do that!’ or even the more frustrating, ‘I came up with that idea but they got there before me!’
Even though you had that idea 3 years ago and you’ve done nothing about it since. (Sorry to break it to you, but that idea gave up on you and went to find someone else who was ready to bring it to life – everyone knows if you snooze you lose).
It’s easy enough to come up with a new idea, but getting moving and taking action is where many of us stumble at the first hurdle. This could be for a myriad of reasons, perhaps we’re simply too busy, or we don’t quite believe in ourselves enough to ‘take the leap’, or perhaps it’s financial roadblocks we’ve put up in our own minds. We’ve all been there, but you’ve got to stop building walls between yourself and your dream life, Trump! The truth is that life is one big joy ride and the universe has whatever you want out there waiting for you, if you’re ready to take it.
If you’ve had an idea but you’re not quite sure how to get things moving, follow the next few steps that I’ve put together from my experience of starting everything and anything I ever came up with. Including; a Sand-pit cake stall, with cakes made of, you guessed it, sand and a magic show event which consisted of me shouting ‘Abracadabra!’ and little brother passing things up to me from underneath the table, watch out Dynamo. I know it’s hard to believe that these business ventures didn’t succeed, but I learnt quickly to fail and fail fast. Failure is part of success, not the opposite.
The more times you try something out, the more you learn and the more you are likely to succeed in the future. So get off the sofa of safety, switch off Netflix and get ready to get carpe diem AF.
Starting your own business isn’t as scary as it sounds. What’s the worst that could happen? – This was rhetorical but is actually a great place to start.
Take your journal and draw a line down the middle of the page. On one side of the line write everything that could go well if you tried out your idea, on the other side write down everything that would happen if you didn’t even try.
On the right you should see your ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Do you like the look of it? If so, then great, don’t start a business. Stop reading and get on with living your best life. If that left hand column is looking attractive to you then stick with me and get real!
2. Write Down Your Idea
Everything you’ve thought about it, your vision, everything that could go wrong, everything that could go right, all your hopes, dreams and even which car you’re going to buy when you make your first mill.
What problems are you solving? Is this something that people will want and will want to pay money for? (pretty important). Be sure to get all your concerns out at this stage too – the truth is that every business has a shit sandwich – can you deal with yours?
3. Do Your Research
what else is out there in the same market? Does another business/service exist that is similar? How can you make sure your business stands out from the competition?
4. Talk to Other People About Your Idea
So, what’s the general consensus? If they love it, ask them ‘why?’ If they hate it, also ask ‘why?’ It’s important for you to see potential failings before you start so you can plan for them if you need to. Do some market research – do people like your fabulous new idea? Is there anyone you know that has a successful business that you can talk to about it? – If no, find someone qualified on LinkedIn – there are people out there waiting to hear from you. If they ignore you, keep trying until you find someone.
5. Ask Yourself : Can You Fund It Personally or Do You Need Investment?
6. Find a name and trademark it ASAP.
Trust me on this.
7. Register your business.
Make it Facebook official. Find your domain name, social media handles and grab those whilst they are still free.
Last but not least…
8. Start learning.
Having your own business is one continuous learning curve, Google is your best friend. Everything you need to know about is out there, just get up and go find it.
You will experience knock-backs and you will have days where you just want to give up and you don’t get dressed. But, in the words of your most enlightened yoga instructor, you have to ‘enjoy the journey’. There’s so many highs you will experience too, like taking the day off and asking your boss (you) if you can have an extended lunch break to meet your friends, or finishing early on a Friday for a much needed G&T. Learn to celebrate the little things, and most importantly of all – get started. Please, for the sake of all of us stop letting your amazing ideas pass you by and crack on.