One of the consequences of the current pandemic is more free time. The state-imposed lockdown measures have kept most of us at home. A large number of people find themselves with so much more free time than what they have ever before. They now have more time to ponder on that one great business idea they have set aside due to their busy work schedule.  

COVID-19 has given people the chance to deal with that great idea on their heads. That great idea might have been lingering in their minds for quite a long time. But now, they can sit down and try to flesh out that idea and turn it into their dream business. However, many are anxious and bewildered because they do not know how to transform their ideas into a profitable business.

The good news is that someone is ready to help them turn their great idea into a successful business. Business strategist Shelley Willingham can help you establish that dream business into reality. Willingham is a multi-business entrepreneur with vast experience in developing business strategies. “Today is the right time to start your dream business. You need time to turn your idea into a business. And you have an abundance of spare time right now. So, use it for something that you will be proud of in the future,” she said.

Willingham’s Entrepreneurial Journey  

Like most of us, Willingham started her professional career in the corporate world, making sales and marketing until she decided to build her own business. In 2000, Willingham established her marketing and sales consulting firm, which she called Creative Strategies Unlimited, Inc. It was a company based in Raleigh, North Carolina, that developed cost-effective but innovative marketing and sales strategies for small to medium-sized companies. However, the company folded after three years of operation.

A few months later, Willingham founded a new company, the National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing. The company’s focus is to help corporate organizations in the United States recognize the increasing purchasing power of diverse segments. Unfortunately, it is among the companies that struggle due to the 2007 global financial crisis. She lost some of her significant clients and bitterly decided to close the company that got her in the pages of Fortune.

Despite the setbacks from her previous enterprises, she never stopped making an effort to establish her own company. In 2017, she founded Vision and Passion International, LLC, wherein she supports entrepreneurs in business aspirations through coaching and other activities. Early this year, she put up a digital marketing and brand activation business, Douglas Alexandra, to help solopreneurs and small business owners. Next year, she eyes to launch a women’s movement called Pretty & Powerful.

Develop The Idea

Successful businesses usually start with a great idea. It is the core of many companies. However, most of the time, the notion inside people’s heads is a raw idea. They should sit down and polish that idea to turn it into the right business idea.

Research is the key to develop an idea. “Ask yourself what product or service my idea can provide to consumers. More importantly, you could identify the customer’s problem that your business idea can solve,” Willingham said. She added that it is crucial to determine if there is a market for that idea and if there will be people willing to buy the product or service.

“Our current situation is offering you ample time to evaluate your idea. The fine-tuning process is your opportunity to develop that idea and make it suitable for the market. Also, as you assess it, you will have a clearer picture of the right kind of business for your idea,” Willingham said.

She noted that many aspiring business owners overlooked this crucial stage. Most of the time, they ended up launching a business not ready for the market. Research will always be an essential component in establishing a business. It helps identify the market and potential customers. These are significant ingredients in developing your strategy later.

Identify The Market Niche

Willingham said that after evaluating an idea’s business potentials, the next step is identifying the market niche. “Determine if your business idea is unique in the market. If it is not, you need to dive deeper and identify your unique selling proposition. Can your business idea provide a better alternative? Or does it offer something which is not yet present in the market? If consumers use your product, what needs can it fulfill,” she explained.

It is significant for aspiring entrepreneurs to find a niche that their business idea can fulfill or occupy. In marketing, they called this process positioning. “How will you position your business will determine the marketing strategy and messaging that you will employ. Good positioning can convince people to select you from an ocean of competition,” Willingham said.

Craft The Right Business Strategy

Before launching any business, it is vital to have a business plan that outlines the strategies to succeed. A business plan and strategy serve as the roadmap to attain business success. “Your business strategy will help you identify your short-term and long-term goals, and the activities that you have to execute to achieve it,” Willingham explained. 

But do not be anxious about business strategy. Willingham is here to craft innovative business strategies that will surely put any business on the right track. The knowledge and expertise that she could build throughout her career provide an excellent source of effective strategies. “I considered the failures that I encountered as an entrepreneur have made better. It played a vital role in crafting the strategies for success that I share with my clients,” Willingham said. To learn more about her and the services she offers, please visit her website,