Plan the start-up phase

Starting with the first thoughts around which a business might originate - How do you know you have a good business idea? This article puts a structure on the birth or concept stage for a new business. The first step is to plan properly to make sure your business idea is right:

Right for customers.

Right for profits.

Most importantly it must be right for you as a person.

(The first articles in this series covered the importance of the promoter in any new business idea –their motivation and characteristics – so let’s get on to the key steps in how you find out if you have the right idea.)

If you have an idea for a product or service that you think could become a viable business – how do you get from concept to fully developing your idea? You need to answer some questions:

  1. Is the idea feasible?
  2. Will it allow you to develop a profitable business?
  3. Will it work?
  4. Do people want your product/service? (Is there a market?)
  5. Is your product/service really different?
  6. Are there competitors?

Albert Einstein said "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research" If your serious about your business succeeding you need to research it fully.

The answers to these questions are like the pieces of a jigsaw that you need to fit together to form the overall picture of your business and how it will develop. By establishing the answers to these questions for your business you will have the key elements you need to plan your business start-up – your business plan.

The answers to these questions are the market research for a business idea. It’s the first piece you need to pull together in planning your business. It will give you the information to establish exactly whether there is a demand for what you want to provide. It will tell you whether this demand is enough to form a profitable business. If not enough people want to buy your product or service then you need to know this before you make any changes in your current employment or spend valuable savings establishing something that will not work.

The Local Enterprise Office Galway runs ideas workshops available to all potential start-ups. The programme offers practical advice and steps on how to develop your business idea. How to carry out Market Research will be covered in the next article in this series.