It can be easy to take the technology we utilize in our everyday lives for granted, but every great business and product that exists today started out as an idea. When you go to use your iPhone, you probably don’t think about the fact that if it weren’t for Steve Jobs, the Apple that we know today would not exist. When you go to cook dinner, watch tv, drive your car, pull up an app on your phone, login to social media…all of these products that we use in our daily lives were invented by people- people who had an idea and ran with it, turning their ideas into billion-dollar enterprises.
How many times have you had a great idea for an invention and you didn’t act on it because the process of actually doing anything with it seemed far too daunting? If everyone took that attitude, we wouldn’t have any entrepreneurs. Every great entrepreneur started out with an idea and a will to succeed. Here are the steps every aspiring entrepreneur should take to make their business idea a reality:
1. Believe in yourself
You can be your own worst credit, but if you don’t believe in yourself and have confidence in your idea, then it’s unlikely that anyone else will. According to Forbes, “You have to believe in yourself enough to handle the consequences of your decisions.” Most business ideas fail because the people behind them experience unexpected challenges that they feel are more than they can handle, and they quit before seeing it through.
2. Research the target market
Once you’ve established that your idea is sound, you’ll need to do some research. It’s best to find a large market for your product, so that your product can reach a wide audience and you can develop a business from it. Research your market’s patterns and behaviors so that you can learn how to market your product to them.
3. Develop a prototype
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to test your product out with a target market to get their feedback. This may seem difficult in the early stages, when you lack the funds you need, so your product does not need to be perfect at this point. Develop a basic prototype, even if it’s just a presentation describing your proposed product (as long as it demonstrates that you’ve done your research) and bring it before an audience. According to Entrepreneur, “Ideas evolve into products which themselves evolve over a period of time through constant customer feedback and use,” so you need to get your product in front of an audience, and you can let them decide whether it’s of value or not.
4. Secure funding
There are many avenues of funding for startups lacking the funds to get their business ideas up and running. You’ll need to determine, based on your current situation and the earning potential of your business, which source of funding is right for you. Options to consider include crowdfunding, a venture capitalist, and angel investor, a small business loan or grant, running a line of credit, or even funding your startup yourself through your savings.
5. Be a salesman
If you’ve ever watched episodes of Shark Tank, then you see how the entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business proposals are truly put in the hot seat. You will need to be prepared to sell your vision by clearly explaining how it will generate revenue. Be able to explain your idea in simple terms so that anyone will understand what you are trying to convey.
6. Be passionate and purposeful
Lastly, the passion has to be there or your idea will never take off. You must have both a purpose and a passion for making your idea a reality. “Purpose fuels your passion and makes your journey less lonely,” says Forbes. Research has shown that family-owned firms are valued 6% higher than public ones, and a third of all companies in the S&P 500 index are family-run.