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"In the words of Simon Sinek, 'always start with why,'" said Glenn Gutek, CEO of Awake Consulting and Coaching. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don't (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you've got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan. In this process, it may be wise to differentiate between [whether] the business serves a personal why or a marketplace why.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you're going to cover those costs.
Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money?
[See related story: Best Alternative Small Business Loans] Startups requiring significant funding upfront may want to consider an investor.
Investors can provide several million dollars or more to a fledgling company, with the expectation that the backers will have a hands-on role in running your business.
Stephanie Desaulniers, director of operations and women's business programs at Covation Center, cautions entrepreneurs from writing a business plan or worrying about a business name before nailing down the idea's value.
Regardless of which option you choose, it's vital to understand the reasoning behind your idea."A lot of startups tend to spend money on unnecessary things," said Jean Paldan, founder and CEO of Rare Form New Media."We worked with a startup that had two employees but spent a huge amount on office space that would fit 20 people.Some budding entrepreneurs understand the effort necessary to create a business, but they might not be familiar with the many steps required to launch a business venture. If the idea isn't something you're passionate about or if there's not a market for your creation, it might be time to brainstorm other ideas. A lot of mistakes are made by new businesses rushing into things without pondering these aspects of the business. Conducting thorough market research on your field and demographics of potential clientele is an important part of crafting a business plan.If you're willing to put in the effort to build a business, you're going to want to know the steps needed to reach your goals. Once you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? This involves conducting surveys, holding focus groups and researching SEO and public data.Rather than spinning your wheels and guessing at where to start, follow this 10-step checklist to transform your business from a lightbulb above your head to a real entity. Generating some of idea of how you'll eventually exit the business forces you to look to the future. Or enjoy creating art to bring color to their world? Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry.Talk to any entrepreneur or small business owner and you'll quickly learn that starting a business requires a lot of work. Identifying these answers helps clarify your mission.Generating a business idea is a great starting point, but an idea doesn't become a business without effort. Third, you want to define how you will provide this value to your customer and how to communicate that value in a way that they are willing to pay." During the ideation phase, you need to iron out the major details. These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan. If you can't find evidence that there's a demand for your idea, then what would be the point?