You dream big when it comes to imagining what your small business could accomplish. Mixed in with the dollar signs is the good feeling of knowing that your products or services - that you've put so much time into developing - could improve people's lives.
But the question is now: how do you transform your dream into a reality? How do you navigate the tricky terrain of identifying the right niche in the marketplace for your new business's products or services?
Your goal is to build an enterprise that has the potential for growth. You may have a stellar business concept knowing how to convert it into a lucrative company is the challenge.
Nearly 4 million businesses are started yearly, with as many as 3.8 million companies launching their enterprises during the first nine months of 2022.
The path to success can be difficult, with many bumps along the way that can consist of challenges like these:
- Lack of demand in the marketplace for a product or service
- Knowledge and skills gap
- Ineffective marketing
- Inability to secure funding
- Not hiring the right people
It can be discouraging if you look at the odds of making it as a start-up. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 20 percent of private-sector businesses fail within the first year. After five years, almost 50 percent have faltered, and after 10 years, roughly 65 percent of businesses have failed.
But despite these eye-popping figures, with some forethought, planning, and enough resources, many businesses do well right out of the gate and continue to do so. Look at it this way, right now you have a 100 percent chance of succeeding.
6 Steps to Success for Turning a Business Idea into Reality
In this space, we will highlight six steps that you can take to significantly increase your chances of success as you set out to transform your business dream into an exciting reality.
1) Research the Market
At this point, you're confident you have a good idea for your business. The first task is determining if a viable market for your product or service exists. This means you need to conduct some in-depth research.
For example, look at these three areas so you can assess how your new business will enter the marketplace:
- Potential competitors
- The market
- Your target audience
By investigating these areas, you should be able to figure out if your new business can find a viable niche in the marketplace. Important Note: you do need to know as soon as possible if someone else had the same idea as you and got it to market first.
It would benefit you to include a SWOT analysis for your business proposal in your market research. This consists of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with it. Bring into the discussion your business partner(s) and friends who are business savvy to provide helpful insights about your new company's chances at being competitive in your industry.
2) Define Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience – the types of consumers likely to want to purchase your products or services - is important so you can gauge how receptive people will be to buying what you're selling. Specifically, examine the demographics of potential new customers, such as age, gender, buying preferences, and lifestyle.
Defining your target audience could be the difference between success or failure for your business. If you want to improve your chances of your enterprise succeeding – especially in a highly competitive industry – you need to have a clear vision for who will be interested in your company's products or services.
Take these five actions to help ensure your products or services have broad enough appeal for you to engineer a lucrative business:
- Collect demographic data
- Create customer personas
- Conduct a market analysis
- Conduct surveys
- Look for trends
Taking these actions should give you valuable insights into the needs and motivations of your potential new customers.
3) Create a Financial Plan
As you prepare to transform your dream into a reality, your next step is to put together a financial forecast. This is especially helpful and relevant if you plan to apply for funding.
This financial plan lays out in detail the actions you intend to take to generate future income and pay all upcoming expenses. A financial forecast is an estimate or projection of future outcomes, like revenue, income, and expenses.
Your financial plan should include accurate estimates of overheads, income, cash flow, profit/loss, and investment stages, normally projected over three to five years. These dollar amounts will be based on your due diligence when it comes to your market research.
A well-thought-out financial plan greatly improves your chances of obtaining sufficient funding for your new company.
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4) Prepare a Business Plan
A business plan defines your company's objectives and how you intend to achieve your measurable goals. It covers critical areas of your new business, such as financial, marketing, and operational standpoints.
Among the parts of a business plan are the following:
- Executive summary
- Organization and management description
- Sales strategy
- Financial projections
- Products and services
- Competitive analysis
- Market analysis
- Requests for funding
It is advised that you write your business plan with your audience in mind, which consists of potential partners, banks, or investors.
5) Establish Attainable Goals
Setting realistic goals for your new business is vital as they show all your stakeholders – employees and investors – the company's direction. These goals must receive buy-in from your employees so that they are motivated to optimally perform their job duties and feel better about their contributions to the company.
Small businesses make many decisions on a daily basis, and having clear, achievable goals keeps owners and entrepreneurs moving in the right direction. They also provide you with criteria to determine if your company is succeeding.
Examples of business goals are the following:
- Improve your business and brand reputation
- Improve the quality of your products or services
- Define your value proposition
- Improve customer retention
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Develop a business plan
6) Build Your Company Brand
Your brand is the entire identity of your business. For your company to be successful, your brand needs to be instantly recognizable. Branding enables your organization to cultivate relationships with your target audience, who later will become your loyal customers.
The four elements of your brand include the following:
- Brand identity
- Brand image
- Brand personality
- Brand culture
As you seek to draw as much attention as possible to your new business, your brand needs to capture and maintain the interest of your future customers at all brand touchpoints. These will include your website, emails, social media channels, and collateral materials.
Consumers are exposed to many new brands on a daily basis. This makes it more important for your company brand to get noticed now than ever.
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With Burbity Workspaces, you can enjoy the privacy of your own furnished office, including a lockable office door, 24/7 access, and mail service.
At Burbity Workspaces, we offer offices, desks, and team suites so your small business can thrive and reach its full potential. Take advantage of our convenient services and resources with our Spokane workspaces, which also offer a community to support and help your new business to succeed.
We can provide you with professional offices and working spaces that will enable you to optimally perform your business functions and have all the necessary materials and resources at your disposal.