So you want to start a business? Saying yes to this question is the easiest part of the process. The real work starts after. So, whether you dream of making something that changes the way people think, you want to create something that makes people’s lives easier, or you want to create works of art and sell them, here’s how to make your dream a reality.
Determine your idea
Every single business (even the huge ones like Starbucks) began as an idea of one person or a group of people. This means that your idea can easily fill an open space in the business world. It’s important to choose an idea you love. If you’re passionate about your idea, that passion will get you through any business-related slumps that come your way.
If you’re under 18, be sure to talk to your parents first. Tell them you want to start your own business. You’ll need their support.
Put your idea on paper and plan
What’s an idea without action? Planning is the first step to making your idea a reality. So, write down that idea! Here are a few questions to get you started: What supplies do you need to begin? Who will your business impact? Who will buy your product or service? What goals do you have for your business?
In addition to your written plan, create a vision board. Get a poster board, round up some magazines, and cut and paste visuals that reflect what you want your business to be and where you want it to go.
Find a coach or mentor
Creating a business can be a scary road to travel alone. That’s why you need support—family and friends can offer emotional support; but a mentor can offer strategic support. Find someone who has a successful business (and whom you trust) and ask him or her to be your mentor.
Your mentor can give you seasoned advice in addition to constructive criticism of your ideas. A mentor can guide you in the direction suited for you and your business.
Prepare a business plan
There’s a pretty decent chance you’ll need money to fund your business. And once you get that money, it’s your responsibility to use that money smartly to keep your business going. But a business plan includes more than just money. It describes your business, highlighting what makes it unique compared to competitors, as well as areas where you can grow to better meet the needs of your target market. Entrepreneur.com gives a great outline.
Prepare your product or service for business
Test out your products and services with friends and family. Get their honest opinions and make adjustments as needed. This may take a while, but it’s where your passion comes into play. If you’re offering a product or service to the public, you want to give them your best product or service.
Launch your business
Now that you’ve done the prep, it’s time to introduce your business to the world! Create a blog or website to talk about your business. Share the link with your friends on social media. Things may or may not start slow. If they do, don’t worry. Continue to create good product and the right people will find you.