Starting a Business – Solidifying the Business Idea

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One question that I hear from some people who are starting their first business is “Where should I start?” They want to know what needs to be done to get things going as well as the priorities. Sometimes they wonder if they should register the business, get licenses, get a website, and other items. 

Start with getting clear on what the business will be and I don’t mean just the product or service. Businesses exist to do two things: 

  1. The first is to solve a problem or fulfill a need or want that a group of people have through its products and services. It somehow makes people’s lives better from their point of view.
  2. The second is to provide the owners with what they need and want. The main benefit is that the owners get to design their own lifestyle and have the business provide for it compared to having to work certain hours for compensation that is controlled by an employer. Other benefits for the owners include making a living, fulfilling a personal mission to somehow improve the community or world, and creating a legacy through a business that will last beyond their lifetimes.

Here are some questions to help you clarify your business idea. You may need to do research or speak to people to answer these questions.

  1. Identify a need or want. What is the need or want that a group of people have?
  2. Identify a target market. Who is the group of people with that need or want and is willing to pay to satisfy it?
  3. Identify the solution. What is the product or service that will meet the needs and wants of that target market?
  4. Identify why it’s important to you. What is it that you are passionate about that will keep you motivated when building the business gets challenging?
  5. Determine whether you are committed or not to making the business successful. Tell the truth to yourself because starting a business is embarking on a journey that will cost you time, energy, and money to build. Are you willing to give your best effort to do the work that needs to be done, learn what you need to, and grow as a person by going outside of your comfort zone to make the business successful?

Once you have solid answers to these questions you will have a foundation to develop a business strategy.

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