Disclaimer: There is no single possible timeline that fits all businesses. The timeline suggested here is composed of general good-practices and sound techniques. It is up to you to decide which order of the steps outlined below is most beneficial to your business. By reading further, you agree that this app is not liable for anything that may go wrong with your business. The final decisions are always yours.
Here is a full article with tips for how to get business ideas, and thoughts to help you determine whether an idea is right for you.
You should also be able to plan the business. You do not necessarily need a full business plan, but you should be able to plan to a sufficient degree that there are no major blind spots. For business planning tips, please take a look at our article for how to plan a business and if you feel you need more help, you can take a look at our business plan example.
Once you have a business idea that you like, the next step is to see if other people like it too. Before you try to see whether other people like your new business idea, you have to learn how to communicate it to others in the most effective way.
Take a look at our tutorial for clearly communicating your business to others in under 30 seconds by creating a business pitch.
Once you can communicate your business idea in a clear and effective way, you can begin to ask others for feedback. In the early stage of a business, as a rule of thumb, you want to get as much feedback and opinions from people as possible. You do not have to do as everyone tells you, but it is good to listen to many different types of feedback to help solidify your own vision of your project.
There are plenty of business ideas out there. You can create the next Google, or the next Apple, make some new tech gadget, open a restaurant, or a gym. They are all possible in theory, but are they possible for you in practice?
A very common pitfall entrepreneurs can fall into have is underestimating the financial, time, and human resources their business idea can take. It is natural. Entrepreneurs tend to be very enthusiastic about their projects and often miscalculate the finances and overall resources that are needed.
If you feel you may need help understanding the financials of your business, you may want to look into working with a business financial advisor who can help you raise money from a bank, and explain overall structure of your business finances.
This is a nice place to be. There is some positive momentum and excitement building around your business idea, but at this point it is all theory. Now is the time to take the idea from theory to reality. Unfortunately, that can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky in a number of other ways. Here is an article that gives you some tips to try out your idea on a small scale cheaply to get more of a sense whether the big risk is worth taking.
Here is a full article on some tips for validating business ideas cheaply.
As you are going through the process of validating your idea with others, they will often want to take a think about it on their own and take a look at various additional materials. For that reason it is good to have a Web presence in the form of a website or a blog, maybe a Twitter account for quick communication, or at least a Facebook page. In my experience, having my own website early on has always been helpful because I could begin to experiment with various marketing strategies like SEO to see whether the pages on the site would rank well in Google search.
This is perfectly normal, and in fact, should happen. No idea is perfect from the start. There are many details about it that will need to be refined throughout the lifetime of the company.Your company can have a stable overall mission that it strives for, but how you go about accomplishing it can change according to what makes the most sense. Here is an example of a possible company mission statement: we will improve history education for kids k-12. Here are possible plans: 1) We will write better books and sell them to schools 2) We will create iPad apps and provide schools with iPads 3) We will work to have higher salaries for teachers which would improve education quality.
There are not sufficient plans of course. A sufficient plan has no major blind spots and takes into accounting the product, marketing, financial structure, etc. Other parts of this app get into this topic in more detail, and if you feel you may want 1 on 1 help planning your business, take a look at the extra-help section of the app to see how to get personal 1-on-1 help.
If all signs point in the right direction, and you are still as enthusiastic about the project, then it is time to begin thinking about turning this idea into a real company.
One of the first things you will need to consider is the type of company formation you need to have (Sole Proprietorship, LLC, C, S), and other legal issues.. You must consult an attorney who is qualified to help you with the basic company legal needs such as an NDA agreement, trademarks, employee and contractor agreements, and agreements between you and your partners if you have any.
There are a few main things you need to get right depending on the type of business you have. For many businesses, various types of business insurance are needed. If you have employees, you may need to look into managing basic HR tasks in-house, or outsourcing HR services so you can focus on your business. If you need a website, take a look at squarespace.com for a cheap and beautiful site you can make by yourself without needing tech skills.
One thing most businesses need is marketing. Ideally during the planning of your business, you would have a strong sense of how to best market your offerings. There are a number of articles on this app to help you with marketing. We have a few articles meant to help you get a solid understanding for how you will market your business. You can take a look at our introduction to marketing fundamentals article or read up on marketing strategies for different business types.
Building a business is very difficult. There are ups and downs. For a little bit of wisdom and inspiration, take a look at our business quotes page. And good luck with your business!