If you have to wonder and think this it means two things:
- That you’ve either settled on a business idea but don’t know the next step you should take – may be the hesitation on your part is due to you having doubts about whether to proceed with the idea or not, or,
- You just know deep inside you that you have this great idea you want to turn into a business but don’t know what it is yet. It seems to you that you are just hovering at one point, and like an eagle surveying the ground below for that one thing that will mean something – an idea that can make you lots of profits (while at the same time providing the much needed transformation the customers who purchase from you seek)
So, how do you deal with these issues? How do you go from paralysis to action? How do you step away from your busy mind to look at things with a more calmer and analytical mind?
How do you take your business idea seriously?
#1 Don’t chase after perfection at this point
Most of the companies you admire now didn’t start with the products or services they offer now. Or at least the versions of the products they brought to the market back then may not have been of superior quality compared to what they sell now.
Their founders picked an idea and ran with it.
Of course they did a bit of analysis and market research. But eventually they ran with the idea, tested it in the market – and got the much needed feedback in the form of people willing to exchange their money for what their business put out there in the market.
That is the validation you need for your business idea at the moment.
Put something out there and see if people are willing to, in different ways, tell you to ‘shut up and take my money’.
You can reiterate down the road.
You can create a better version of your product or service later on.
You can improve on your service delivery as you handle more clients – and more feedback gets back to you.
You can create a line of cheaper or more expensive items inspired by what your current idea is nudging you to do – but later on.
You can branch into another area and create a business, product or service that compliments whatever you plan on selling.
For now, matters perfection, leave them be.
See, if you can profit from your business idea. Strive to be profitable as soon as you can
Take your idea and validate it. See if people are willing to pay you money. See if people are content with what you are offering that the idea of giving you their money in return for what you are selling is an idea they embrace and don’t regret.
Your current idea (and the small business or company that becomes its foundation), think long-term of it. And keep improving, and branching to different sectors of the economy if you so wish, as more sales come in, profits increase and your business grows.
Getting more customers, running a serious business
You will actually start taking your idea more seriously once customers start rolling in.
They will demand the best – and often such demands will hold you accountable, keeping your nose to the grindstone. Sooner you’ll realize you are passionate about helping your clients and even relish the thought of improving their life or business through the products and services you put out there.
Remember that most business ideas are profitable right out of the box. The evidence? You will find that there are many people already doing what you want to do (despite taking different approaches). And you will find that some are running profitable ventures. They are serving their customers well and making good money.
What does this mean? You shouldn’t look down on your idea. Even if it is not in a hot niche.
Don’t discount your idea. Don’t look at it as one that will not lead to a profitable business.
Instead do your market research well. Then chart a way forward on how to reach and serve customers who are likely to find your product or service to be a good fit – depending on challenges or problems they are currently experiencing.
Focus on offering a quality product. Then push full-throttle on sales and marketing.
Start a blog for your business. Reach out to other bloggers and peers out there to see how they can help spread the word about the work you do – and how it can benefit the people to whom you are targeting with your message.
Sign up as a vendor on different e-commerce platforms to tap on their already existing audience of online shoppers. Target users who buy and sell on various marketplaces including Facebook groups and classified ads websites.
Just get busy doing things that converts prospects into customers.
And then you will realize this…
As you get busy doing all this work, you’ll quickly see a habit form.
The old you who wasn’t taking their business idea seriously will be replaced with someone hopeful and determined.
An action-taker, who goes out there, takes risks and does their best to convert the people they reach into paying customers – and then doing their best to help these people as best as they can.
You will, in essence, have found a way to take your idea seriously, doing what ‘s in your ability to turn it into a successful and profitable operation.
Instead of focusing on whether yours is or isn’t a booming business while taking no action that leads to growth, let your little action steps become like the snowball that rolls down the mountain.
Like the snowball, start small and gather steam. And then roll with the momentum – doing more of the things that are already working for you (depending on the feedback you get and what your analytics tools tell you).
Then take advantage of your growth to further turn your idea into a serious venture, that remains fun working at while putting measures in places to help you outgrow the hobby-business label.
So, instead of focusing on perfection, the ruin of most people who attempt to start a small business, work a day at a time. To grow at a pace you are comfortable with – while taking advantage of most of the business opportunities that land on your lap…so long as they are the kind of opportunities that mesh well with your short-term and long-term goals.
Working on your new idea, one day at a time
Do meaningful things that grow your revenue and profits for the day. Then wake up early the next day and do more of the right things.
This approach by the way does in no way mean that you close your eyes to the long-term.
Focus on the here and now, but plan things you do today with a long-term view.
Think about how the puzzle pieces fit to form the bigger picture that dances in your brain once in awhile – especially in the moments when you are excited about the prospects of owning a successful business (that takes care of the customers, you, your family and team of employees or freelance contractors).
#2 Give yourself a window where you vow to work hard on making a profitable business out of your idea
It could be a month, 3 months, 7 months, 1 year, 18 months or more. It is up to you how long you want to be down the trenches doing the hard work and making things happen.
It is easy to think of new ideas. Implementing them, that is the hard part for most people.
So, before your excitement levels dwindle, make a vow to seriously put in the work for a period of time (you choose how much) before you finally give up on your idea.
Bootstrap things – and focus on converting leads into satisfied paying customers.
Seriously stick to your vow. Don’t break it. If you decide to work real hard on your idea for 2 months before considering whether you should take it less seriously, do just that: Commit.
Commit to making 50 sales calls every day for 52 days.
Commit to sending outreach emails, say 100 emails a day, five days a week.
Do joint ventures.
Recruit affiliates to help you reach more customers in exchange for a percentage of the sale as commission payment.
Write guest posts on other blogs – even if you have to hire freelance writers to help you write some of the content you intend on publishing on your website.
See if you can start by selling to friends, family and even mutual friends.
Do outreach link building to push your website’s rankings up in the search engines.
Just commit for the duration you choose – and work hard on things that make sense.
Now, as I leave you, I’d like you to take notes on what resonated with you while reading this post.
Then pick up my free ebook 10 Things to Look At If You Are Thinking Of Starting a Business
Download a PDF copy here.
Go through it and take more notes.
Decide to take your idea seriously (or find a new one you can take seriously – and work on for say longer than two months) and see how things go.
If you want some posts that can help you come up with ideas of your own, check this post on food business ideas, or this one on online business ideas. Also read related posts you find on Niabusiness.com. Whatever you learn and find useful, note down.
Do what I have outlined above and see if you will or will not take your idea seriously from this point forward.
And remember no amount of motivational or inspirational content pieces can easily take the place of consistent action. So, go take action.
Best of luck.