How to Turn Your Business Dream Into a Reality _ Courtney Montgomery

Whether you are suddenly inspired or you have been dreaming about it for years, with a little determination and motivation you can turn your business dream into a reality. At first turning that idea, into something tangible is daunting, but breaking the process down into five steps will help you successfully launch your business.

Get some feedback!

When you have a business idea in mind, don’t keep it to yourself. With your closest associates, share the details of your idea. They can be a great asset in refining your vision, especially if they are within your target market. They can provide insight from a customer’s standpoint that you otherwise wouldn’t get.

If you don’t have any close associates in the industry that you are pursuing, it’s time to hone in on your networking skills. Utilize social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. LinkedIn especially is great for professional and meeting new contacts through your current connections.

Regardless of how you get it, feedback on your idea is the first step to putting your plan to action.

Do your research.

After thinking of an idea, conducting some market research is an absolute must. Address questions like, “What other businesses are in the same market?”, “Was there a business that didn’t find success?”, and “How will I do things differently?”.

While researching, be sure to focus more on the success stories. These will provide more guidance to you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Draft a business plan.

Before you launch your new business, it is crucial to develop a business plan. Business plans help to solidify the core concepts of your business before making things official.

Your business plan ultimately tells your story and how potential investors will perceive it. Be sure to include financial and operation goals, projections, and a general timeline of how you think the business will grow.

Create a Prototype

To test is your vision is feasible, build a prototype. The main purpose behind prototyping is to see if your business idea is something that a consumer would want to buy.

A prototype doesn’t always have to be a physical product. It can be as simple as creating a simple website and collecting emails of potential customers.

Raise Funds

Now that your idea is more concrete consider how much money you will need to fund your new business. There are many funding opportunities available for entrepreneurs. Crowdsourcing options, in particular, have overtaken the entrepreneurial world. Companies like Kickstarter, 33needs, and Profounder help collect funding from family, friends, and strangers, who support your cause.

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