Starting any business takes a huge leap of faith. You’re jumping off of a mountain and hoping your parachute will open and lead you and your business to success. Given that you could be doing many, many things with your time, how do you decide what to do and what’s really a great idea?
At a minimum, you’ll want to cover the following:
- What do you know about business? Make yourself a student of business, first. Develop your business and leadership skills so that you can turn your talent into a real business.
- Why are you doing this? What’s your mission? All new businesses need a sense of purpose. Are you trying to improve people’s lives in some way? What are the core differentiators of your business that set you apart from the next person trying to build a similar business?
- What problem are you solving? You need to be solving some sort of real problem that exists in the world. If you aren’t solving a problem for potential customers, then how will you get people to buy your product or service?
- Who are you solving this problem for? As important as having a problem to solve, is having customers that have this problem. Knowing who your ideal customer is and how you can find them is critical to starting a successful business.
- How are your potential customers solving their problem today? This is where you want to write down a few notes about your competition. What choices do your customers have today? How is your solution better?
- Do you think you can make money? Make sure there’s a paying client for your product or service. You don’t need to worry at this early stage about in-depth financial forecasts, but you should do some basic back-of-the-napkin calculations to make sure your idea can be profitable.