So…. You’ve found THE perfect business idea! And you’re so sure that this idea hasn’t been touched on before. You’re absolutely sure it’s a unique idea and you’re ready to start your awesome business and get things up and running!
PAUSE! Have you really done your research? Have you checked Patents and Trademarks? Have you really done your market research? Have you even secured the domain name? Yeah, let’s back up a bit and start from the beginning.
Before you fly off the handle trying to get things going, there are tons of things you need to make sure of before you even start the legal stuff!
- Do your Market Research – Are people in demand of this product? Have you identified a need for your product or service? Have you identified a problem in the market that you can actually solve that others haven’t thought of ? Or is your product or service different than what’s already out there?
Make sure you can answer all of these questions prior to putting your product out on the market. It’s important to have some sort of direction, initially.
- Secure Your Rights – Have you searched the trademark database or the Patent database to see if your idea has been used already? It’s important to do this because you could be infringing on someone’s rights if you just put your idea out there or a name out there prior to doing your research. And this could lead to a litany of legal troubles including:
- Cease and Desist Letters
- Financial Loss
- Loss of hard work put into an idea that you didn’t research
Once your idea is in the clear whether it’s a trademark or a patent, then you’re all set to register your idea with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
- Secure your Online Website– And by this, I mean BUYING your domain! I can’t tell you how unprofessional it is to have a domain that has another website attached to it like .weebly.com or .wordpress.com. It screams “Don’t take me seriously”! It’s literally like $14 a year. And if you can’t afford that, then ask your parent, partner or someone else. Hell, start a go fund me and let supporters pay for it.
Please guys, get yourself a website! It’s vital to the health and functionality of your business. You’ll thank me later, I promise. There is a whole domain buying business out there where people just buy up domains and resell them to people who are hoping to use that name and have already done all the other groundwork, including opening a legal business in that name, only to find out later, the domain is already gone.
Before I ever take a business to the next level, I always check all the bases, including checking the domain, before moving forward. It’ll save you a lot of headache in the long run.
- Come up with a plan – There’s nothing worse than a business with no plan! Imagine going on a road trip and having no GPS. You’re practically hoping to get lost. A business plan is a great place to start.
It allows you to see where you’re at, where your business sis starting and where you’d like it to go. It also outlines how you’re going to get there. And it doesn’t have to be so formal.
Simply write everything out and organize it in a way that you’ll be able to follow. Some ideas to get you started would be:
- What is your operating plan?
- Who is your target audience
- What is your marketing plan?
- What ideas you have to grow your business?
- Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource – You cannot do everything when it comes to your business. Trust me, I’ve tried. If there’s something you’re not good at, say graphic design for instance, leave it to the professionals.
If you try to do everything yourself, there will always be one aspect of your business that is lacking, not to mention, you’ll end up burning yourself out, stressing yourself out, and ultimately your business will suffer. So, its okay to outsource when needed.
- Surround Yourself With Likeminded Individuals – I cannot stress this enough. You simply cannot be around people who:
- Don’t believe in your business/vision
- Don’t have goals or dreams
- Are small-minded
- Impose their limitations on you
- Believe success is unattainable
- Have horrible mindsets and habits
- Have negative energy
Negative energy, negative attitudes and negative mindsets will have you ready to give up on your dreams. Instead surround yourself with people who:
- Have lots of goals and plans
- Are positive and overall happy
- Can think big and see the bigger picture
- Have positive mindsets and believe in putting out positive energy
- Have set great habits and expectations for themselves and their lives
- Believe that anything is literally possible
If you hang around 6 broke people, you’re bound to be the 7th! There’s a reason that that’s a saying!
- Create a Profit Plan – After you’ve created a business plan, it’s time to break down exactly how you’re planning to make your money. How much money do you want to make per day, per month and per year?
How many products and which ones will you have to sell per day to meet your goals? Have you thought about this? It’s important to know this so that you know how to market your products correctly. Which brings me to my next point.
- Develop a solid Marketing Plan – How will you market your products? Will you use social media, radio advertisements, billboards, email marketing or a combination of all of them?
It’s important to know your customer first, so that you know where to reach them. Are your customers 60 year old women? If so, then marketing to them through Facebook ads may be ineffective.
Are they 13-26 year old young women? Then the best option for marketing to them probably won’t be billboard ads, it would be social media; since 80% of them spend more than 1 hour per day scrolling through social media.
- Start Small – A lot of businesses try to be like the big guys and shoot their big shots and end up failing miserably. It’s important to start small and build your way up. Success isn’t an overnight thing. Many of the most successful people have experienced massive amounts of failure.
It’s those that remain persistent and are consistent. You can’t be in it one week and the next week you’re MIA. You have to commit to your commitments.
- Establish your Brand’s Name on Social Media – There’s nothing worse that choosing an idea, business name and registering it, only to find that it’s not available on social media, and someone who doesn’t plan to turn the name into an business has taken it. Bummer.
So before you get carried away with the name, make sure you check everywhere you can to make sure the name isn’t taken or the domain being auctioned off for $17,000. Yes, that happened to me with my first business!
So now that you’ve got this comprehensive list, make sure you’re wise before you put your all into your business idea without checking the facts first! You got this!