In business, there’s a big difference between an entrepreneur and simply an ideas person. At some point in our lives, we’ve all thought of at least one product or service that we felt could go on to become a successful business. However, since coming up with the concept is the easy part, most of us never even consider moving forward with the idea. If you’d like to graduate from an ideas person into a true entrepreneur, here’s what you need to know.
Research Your Market
The first thing you should do is check to see if your idea is truly unique. You can search for patents on the Espacenet website. It’s important to know that, even if you find something similar, you don’t have to start thinking about giving up just yet. Most markets are large enough to accommodate similar products. You just have to ask yourself what it is that you do better than the competition. Once you’ve settled on an idea, it’s time to start researching your target market. People of different ages, genders, and income levels all have their own consumption habits that you need to be aware of. If you need additional survey and research into your audience, do consider doing a maxdiff analysis to determine their preferences better.
Create a Realistic Plan
The next thing you need to know is to start organising this information into a business plan. This will not only be a benefit to you personally as a business owner, but it will also be a useful reference tool when meeting potential partners or investors. You can find a template to get you started from The Prince’s Trust, but the most important thing to remember is to be realistic. As a new business, you won’t be able to revisit any past data so you may have to base your projected sales on other similarly sized operations in your industry. Similarly, consider overestimating your expenses to play it safe. This way, you won’t be caught unprepared if you do go over.
Protect Your Business
Many of the building blocks of your business are now falling into place, but the work is only just beginning. Before you can start selling your product, you need to protect it. We briefly touched on the importance of patents earlier, but now you’ll get to experience this from the other side. Patenting your intellectual property (IP), such as your brand or design, is essential if you want to make sure other companies don’t benefit from your hard work. International IP law can be complicated, though, so it’s highly recommended that you work with a specialist like Withers Worldwide. Finally, there are many risks associated with owning a business so it’s crucial you take out the right insurance policies.