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How To Start Your Business With One Good Idea - Articles Surfing
Do you have an idea for a business? Perhaps the only idea you have is that you NEED an idea so you CAN start a business.
Before turning any idea into a business, you must first have an idea how to succeed. For most people, the definition of a successful business is one which is profitable, and a profitable business is built upon ideas that have been properly researched.
Here are 10 steps you can take to flush out an idea and turn it into a profitable business:
1) Make a list of the reasons why you want to go into business for yourself. Look at your list critically. Does starting your own business help you realize these things?
An excellent book to help you get in touch with your underlying motivations and desires, and create true prosperity from your venture is 'The Science of Getting Rich'. Pick it up free here:
2) Make a list of the things you like to do with your time. Success can be elusive if you're not truly excited about your business. What are your interests and hobbies? What are you good at? What do other people say you are good at?
This list represents broad business models that will give you the greatest joy over time. Decide which item(s) on your list you would most like to develop into a business. If you need help coming up with an idea, here are a few to help you get the juices flowing:
3) Focus on filling a niche. It is your expertise, uniquely practiced and applied within your business field, that creates your niche in the market. Throughout the research stage of your idea, pay close attention to how your business can fill a niche. For more on choosing a niche, here is some sound advice from Willie Crawford:
4) When your business idea begins to take shape, talk to friends or family who own or work in a similar business. Get their input on your idea. What needs improved on? Why should it be improved and how? Talk to business owners in neighboring towns - so you won't be perceived as a competitor -and get their input on your idea. These people will likely have insights you never considered.
5) Participate in discussion forums. This is a great way to take the pulse of your potential customers. You can also see trends, get feedback, and establish working relationships with like-minded people. Here is a list of good places to start:
6) Evaluate the demand for your product or service. You need to understand the pace and direction of your industry. This understanding alerts you to shortcomings with your idea and helps you channel your energies correctly. It also helps you approach your business with innovation and vision.
For a snapshot of demand by Internet users for your product of service, start with the Keyword Suggestion Tool from DigitalPoint.com. It shows how often people are searching for phrases related to your business idea.
You should also analyze the available research data. There are several professional organizations which gather data on a wide variety of subjects. Here a few starting points:
National Small Business Association
Nua Internet Surveys
National Association for the Self-Employed
National Foundation of Women Business Owners
National Federation of Independent Business
7) Research businesses in your surrounding area in order to size up the competition. Look for ways you can gain a business advantage over your competitors. Ask yourself how your business will be better and different.
8) Visit your competitors online. To speed up online searches, utilize Dogpile's multiple search capabilities. Dogpile queries the top engines for your search term and returns the top listings for each:
9) Define the operation of your business. Here are some key questions you should answer:
For help with these questions try these resources:
Making Your Business Legal
Start-up tutorial by the Small Business Administration
Free email counseling from SCORE
10) With the information gathered from the steps above, you now have the means to begin writing a comprehensive business and marketing plan. For help in this area try the resources and software available at:
At the root level, the small business owner has a burning desire to succeed, a 'never quit' attitude, and the ability to attract and implement needed resources. All you have to do is throw your research and planning into the mix and you're well on your way to a successful business.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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