Rocket Fuel for your business idea – Part 1
Starting a new business can be a massive combination of excitement and trepidation all at once. In the first blog posts about starting a new business we’ll look at the start of the process and, hopefully provide some useful hints and tips to help you along the way.
With so many questions and conflicting advice, along with those close to you questioning whether you’ve made the right decision or not, how do you know if now is the right time? Some people say there is no such thing as the right time, and that there will always be some reason or excuse not the press that button. The question is do you want to look back in, say, a years’ time and regret not making that move?
Whether you’re turning a hobby into a part-time venture or going into full scale production of the latest tech gadget, right now the world is your oyster. In a post pandemic world more people are entering the start-up space and turning to self-employment than ever before. So where do you start?…
Ideas, Ideas, Ideas – Don’t overlook solving the problem!
It all starts with the big idea, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily; starting a business doesn’t need to be all about something unique, innovative, new and ground-breaking. It may just be that you’ve spotted a gap in the market, identified a product that’s different to the norm or have a passion project you want to pursue. The first step in turning it into a business though is to identify whether you’re solving a problem and if so, who are you solving it for?
The entrepreneurial, industry shattering inventions are the ones that make the headlines, but there are far more people out there who have applied what is called the ‘SCAMPER’ model to their idea, which involves taking a product or service that already exists and applying their own improvement or adjustment to make it a viable business proposition. In the service sector it may be about improving delivery, service or presenting things differently in order to appeal to a slightly different audience – it doesn’t have to be about a physical product.
So, if you have a passion, interest or specific skills and experience that could be the basis for a possible business venture a SCAMPER model maybe just what you’re looking for!
The following link has some great advice and guidance about the SCAMPER model approach – https://www.consuunt.com/scamper-model/
Do your homework – Knowledge is key
It’s all very well having the idea or the solution to a problem, but how do you know if anyone will want it? Of the start-ups that fail 50% have failed because of the lack of market need. Before you launch the next big thing, researching your market is key – get to know the marketplace, who the main players currently are, look at their strengths and weaknesses, and identify a niche that you could tackle. Is that niche already overcrowded or is there space for a slight pivot to be successful? The important part is not to spend weeks and months doing this, but that your homework, research and reports clearly point to a potential demand that can form the foundation of a new venture.
Find 3 companies that offer something similar to your idea and list what you would do similarly and what you would do differently – the later will become your Unique Selling Points or Value Propositions.
The Grand Plan – Getting it down on paper
The dreaded Business Plan – everywhere you turn you’re asked if you have one. From Grant applications to Business Loans, a plan is an essential component and it fills most of us with dread – but it really doesn’t have to be such a scary exercise! Think of it more as getting all your thoughts, research and ideas down in a cohesive order. At the end of the day, it’s your plan so you control the content. However, the important thing is to make use of it to progress your idea. So many business owners either ignore this vital step or complete the task initially and never revisit it. It doesn’t have to be a huge document, bullet points highlighting key ideas are fine, but do ensure it contains the following:
- Executive summary – a brief overview of the idea, opportunity and plans, a couple of paragraphs will suffice. Look at it like the prologue to a novel – it’s aim is to get the reader interested in reading more.
- Opportunity – This is the big idea, outline how it came about, the niche, what makes it viable and unique
- Market Research – So this is where the research comes in further highlighting why the opportunity is worth progressing with key stats or figures you have discovered to reinforce this
- Marketing Plan – An outline plan as to how you intend to reach the audience and promote the product/service – key points are enough at this stage
- Sales Plan – Once you receive any interest how you will sell and secure continuing sales with the target audience
- Operational Plan – How you will deliver your service or product and the process needed to do so and achieve repeat business, referral and high retention rates.
- The people – It may be too early to think just beyond yourself supporting the business, but think 2-3 years ahead – how would you want to see growth and how would that be supported in terms of a longer-term structure?
- Financial Plan – This is a big area, and we’ll cover this in more detail in our next blog, but you need to think about your revenue expectations over the first 12-24 months and the overheads to support that. Any funding bodies will want to see this, and it will also highlight to you how viable the model will be in its infancy.
You cannot underestimate the importance of the business plan, but any start-up specialist will be able to guide you through the journey and there are plenty of online resources to help you through this process. At Newboldology we recommend filling in a 1-page document called the Business Model Canvas as the first step in the process as it allows you to summarise your thoughts prior to completing a larger plan.
Watch the following YouTube video which gives you an idea how to complete the canvas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1lHCP3gTQc
The canvas exists in hundreds of varying formats online, the following link allows you to download one for free: https://neoschronos.com/download/business-model-canvas/docx/
Be Positive – Mindset matters…
It can feel overwhelming, and it will take time and effort, but a growth mindset is essential to success. If you believe in yourself, you can do this! Remember you’re not expected to know everything; so don’t be afraid to ask for help. At Newboldology we’ve been there ourselves, learnt from our mistakes and helped many others Launch, Grow and Scale their business. For start-ups we offer a personalised Power-Hour enabling a tailored discussion to take place around your idea and looking at whatever areas you may feel you lack the skills and knowledge in. Just drop us a line and over a coffee we’ll help you nurture that new idea into something special!
Coming soon in part 2:
- Take that leap – Launch the business
- Funding the dream – The financials
- Developing the dream – creating, improving and validating
- Support you may need – don’t expect you can do everything