26 Jul 10 Tips to Turn Your Business Idea Into a Reality
I have a business idea!
How many times have you heard that expression before? I would venture to say that it’s audible on a daily basis. Maybe we even find it coming out of our mouth. How many of those product or service ideas do you remember off the top of your head? I bet you can think of a couple, especially if they came from your head. Perhaps it was a business idea, and now you find that you just cannot shake it. You know you should act on it, but you just don’t know where to start.
Let’s examine ten tips to help you get your business idea out of your head and into reality.
1. Clarify Your Vision
What is it? You are going to have to explain your idea to others over and over again. So, make sure you take the time up front to establish a clear vision of what you want the result to be. A clarified vision is also important because it will help you see how a day-to-day decision fits into the over all vision of what you want to accomplish.
2. Set a Mission
Where do you want your business to be eventually, and when do you want it to reach that level? How will your idea develop this year, and how will it come to fruition? Where do you see your idea in subsequent years, perhaps 5 years from now? Will it change? Will it expand? Define your mission.
3. Plan It Out
How are you going to get there? A series of progressive steps are needed to get to a desired destination. Your business plan needs to be mapped out even better than your last vacation trip. Just like a GPS, your business plan will help you to see how far you’ve come, and how far you need to go. A lot of these steps will be goals or will be supported by goals.
4. S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Every business under the sun has its own set of goals, but usually these are based on the S.M.A.R.T. system.
- SPECIFIC—If you want to stall your goals, make them general. But when your goals are defined and clear, you will see results much more rapidly. Think ‘step by step.’ Ask yourself: How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? What individual steps are going to get me there?
- MEASURABLE—Use dates, quantities, percentages, etc. to allow your goals to be monitored through the business development. If you don’t make your goals measurable, you are going to have a hard time seeing if you accomplished what you wanted to. You’re also going to have a hard time explaining your progress to others (i.e. investors).
- ACHIEVABLE—Have you ever had someone hold something just outside your reach and dangle it there as you jump, claw, and scratch for it? How long did your pursuit last? Probably not long. The same is true about business goals. You need to be able to reach these goals. You can’t set an unrealistic goal and expect it to magically happen. Break that big goal down into smaller, less challenging goals, and you will see good results.
- RELEVANT—If goals do not move you in the same direction as your business mission, drop them. Goals need to be relevant and contributing toward the overall picture of your business model. Avoid branching off into other roads outside your idea. Make your goals build upon one another and have them all point toward your desired vision.
- TIME-BOUND—Remember that house project you kept meaning to get around to? How is that coming along? If we don’t set firm deadlines for our projects around the home, nothing gets accomplished. Make sure you set time constraints on your business development. A sense of urgency will help motivate you and allow you to better see your successes (and missteps).
5. Believe in Yourself
How well would a sports team do if the coach told the team that he wasn’t sure if they could win? The same is true in transforming a business idea into reality. You (and your team) need to be motivated and know that your mission can be accomplished. Again, the better you develop your business plan, the better you will see your progress. As a result, you’re going to believe in yourself more and more with each accomplishment. This personal drive is priceless throughout the business development process.
6. Make Connections
A new personal connection will open the door to new resources and new opportunities. Take advantage of resources like LinkedIn. Be careful not to sound like a salesperson. Be personable, approachable, and honest.
7. Go ‘All In’
Making your idea into a reality is going to take everything you’ve got. So, be sure that you don’t allow this mission to fall to the wayside. It needs to be a priority for you. Giving your idea everything you’ve got will separate you from the millions that are just sitting on their idea and hoping for some available time to miraculously appear. But give it every moment you can afford. Don’t allow your work/life balance to falter. Work smarter and with better focus. Avoid burn out.
8. Be Patient
Everything takes time. So, don’t get impatient because things aren’t developing as quickly as you would like. Impatience often results in bad decisions.
9. Accept Risks
Your idea is going nowhere if you don’t take some risks. Yes, a decision could always turn sour and cause problems. But that is true of almost any decision. Worrying about risk will undermine your mission. Accept the fact that missteps can happen and move on with your plan.
10. Learn From Missteps
Things are not always going to go according to plan. So, when missteps occur, don’t allow it to derail your business development. Focus on all the planning that you have done thus far. Make adjustments as needed. Look to see if this misstep could exhibit itself in any other areas of your business plan. The lessons you learn and the precautions you take as a result of missteps could help you avoid much bigger problems down the road.