Maybe you have a hobby that people have been telling you lately you could get paid for. Or you had a flash of genius in the middle of some tedious task, showing you (and possibly the rest of the world!) an easier way. Whatever your idea, how do you know when your idea could be more than unique and cool, but a legitimate money-making business? If you're thinking you've stumbled on the next Shark Tank winner of an idea, here are a few things to consider when making a plan.
Your customers--will you have enough to sustain your endeavor? Whether providing a service or product, research the market thoroughly. Determine how you will reach your audience, and what longevity your product or service has to hold their interest.
The money--do you have enough to get the idea up and running? Most start-up entrepreneurs take on the majority of tasks themselves to keep overhead low, including fundraising or applying for loans. Do you have a plan to keep costs at a minimum while starting? Are you eligible for a small business loan, or have you looked into alternative funding ideas, like a business cash advance or merchant cash advance? Take your scribbled balance sheets, turn them into a coherent spending and earnings spreadsheet and determine if you can sustain a profit.
The plan--designing a prototype, manufacturing, hiring employees, renting a space, designing a website, and finally promoting and selling your product or service. Think every aspect through. Meet with a successful small business owner or entrepreneur. Write your full business plan.
Your passion--is it enduring? If you're considering expanding your hobby of crafting or cooking or dancing into a business, can your passion withstand the onslaught of tedium that accompanies small business ownership? When day-to-day expectations of budgeting, accounting, taxes, IT, and more water down the fun, be sure you still end the day with passion for the product or activity.
A lifestyle change--being in business is demanding. Will your business idea require nights and weekends when maybe you're accustomed to weekdays? Can you dedicate 12-hour days to your success?
Longevity--beyond looking at where you see yourself in ten years financially, think about where you see yourself mentally. This unique idea that seems like a goldmine, or at least a way to comfortably support yourself, is it something you want to be involved with five, seven, even 15 years from now?
Turning your idea to profit doesn't happen overnight, and if it quenches your passion, it might not be the right move. Explore your options!
his post is brought to you by Bizlender.
Bizlender offers alternative funding solutions for established businesses.