Make Your Business Idea a Reality By Following a Few Simple Steps

Although starting your own business is an exciting and empowering journey, it's crucial you pursue your passion and nail that idea down first

Maria Collinge
August 21, 2023
(Image: Female Invest)
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Do you have a business idea that you're passionate about? Congratulations! You've taken the first step towards becoming a founder. But whilst starting your own business is an exciting and empowering journey, it's crucial you pursue your passion and nail that idea down first.

Why is it so important, you ask? Think of it as the foundation of a house. You wouldn't want to build a house on unstable ground, would you? The same goes for a business. Without a clear vision and a well thought-out plan, your business could crumble before it even gets off the ground. But don't let that discourage you. With these simple steps, you can turn a simple idea into a successful business prospect.


Step 1: Identifying a problem worth solving

One way to start is by identifying a problem or pain point that you or others face. This can be a personal frustration, an unmet need in the market, or a gap in an existing product or service. So, when is a problem worth being solved? A problem worth being solved needs to fulfil the following criteria:

1. The problem must be relevant

Truly relevant problems always appear where customers have no or only inadequate solutions at their fingertips when carrying out their tasks repeatedly or in a certain context, and where the level of frustration or suffering is high. With climate change high on the agenda, there's been a flurry of eco-friendly companies popping up in the marketplace. That's because it's highly relevant in the context we're in.

(Photo: Patrick Pierre/Unsplash)

2. The problem must be solvable

It goes without saying that of course, the problem needs to be solvable. That means, is it possible given the technology available? Do you actually have the entrepreneurial spirit to master the solution and build a team? What skills and expertise are available that might be able to turn the vision into a reality?

Step 2: Brainstorming 

You've got a problem, and you're ready to tackle it head-on! This is where brainstorming comes in – it's time to get creative and let your wildest ideas run free.  Don't limit yourself to the obvious solutions, think outside the box and throw any and all possibilities out there.  If you have a team, get them involved and have a blast coming up with ways to solve the problem. 

This can include mind mapping, free writing, or using prompts to spark your creativity. It's important to think outside the box and consider unconventional ideas that may have untapped potential. Here are some techniques to consider:

  1. Free writing: This involves setting a timer for a certain amount of time and then writing down whatever comes to mind without stopping. 
  2. Mind mapping software: These programs often have features that make it easy to add images, links, and other information to your mind map. Some popular mind mapping software programs include FreeMind, MindManager, and XMind.
  3. Drawing: This can help you visualize information and see relationships between ideas more easily.
  4. Online templates:There are also many templates available online that you can use to create mind maps. 

"The key to finding a viable business idea is to be persistent and open-minded"

Step 3: Market research

When honing in on your business idea, it's important to validate your idea through market research and customer feedback.  This can involve conducting surveys, focus groups, or user testing to gather data and insights. Ultimately, the key to finding a viable business idea is to be persistent and open-minded.

Don't be afraid to pivot or adjust your idea as you gather feedback and new information. With the right approach, you can find a problem worth solving and develop a solution that has the potential to change the world. So how do you go about undertaking market research?

  1. Focus groups: These are small groups of people who are brought together to discuss a particular topic. This is a great way to get in-depth feedback about your product or service from your target market.
  2. Interviews: This technique involves talking to people one-on-one about your product or service. This can be done in person or over the phone.
  3. Secondary research: This involves researching information that has already been published, such as data from surveys and studies conducted by other organisations
  4. Competitive analysis: This involves researching your competitors to see what they are doing well and what they could improve upon. 
  5. Market research companies: There are also many market research companies that can help you gather data about your target market. 

Step 4: Test the demand of your product

Once you have a business idea you feel excited about, it’s important to validate it through market research and customer feedback. This step is critical to ensure that there is demand for your product or service and that you’re solving a real problem that people want to solve. Market research can include analysing competitors, analysing market trends, and conducting surveys or focus groups to gather feedback from potential customers. So, where do you start? Here’s how to get started. 

(Image: Female Invest)

1. Analyse competitors

First, start by Googling your industry keywords and see which competitors pop up. Take note of what they offer, their pricing range, and their unique selling points. Next, check out their social media and website to see what kind of content they're creating and how they're engaging with their audience. 

But don't stop there! It's also important to read customer reviews, check out their online presence, and even chat with former customers to get a full understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. 

2. Market trends

With a few clicks, you can gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour, competitor activity, and industry shifts.  There are plenty of user-friendly tools and resources available online to help you conduct effective market research. 

Just make sure you're working with the most recent data!

3. Customer feedback 

Surveys are a quick and easy way to gather data from a large group of people, while focus groups allow for in-depth discussions and insights from a smaller, more targeted group. Whatever approach you take, it's crucial to hear exactly what your customers think – they're the lifeline of your business!

(Fanette Guilloud/Death to Stock)

Consider your passion

Another important consideration when selecting a business idea is ensuring that it aligns with your strengths and passions. Starting a business can be a challenging and demanding process, and it's important to choose an idea that you feel passionate about and that utilises your unique strengths and skills. 

It also sets you on the path to success doing something you're passionate about, because you'll be motivated to do what it takes to get a business off the ground. By following these simple steps, you can nail down what you're passionate about:

1. Consider your skills and talents

What are you naturally good at? What do you enjoy doing? You may find that your passion lies in something that you are already skilled at.

2. Identify some causes you care about

Is there something that forms a huge part of who you are and what drives you? Perhaps you're passionate (like us) about female empowerment, or perhaps you want to reduce the carbon footprint. Maybe you're fascinated by the wellness industry and improving the nation's health. Whatever it is, write it down and build your business from there.

3. Talk to people who have found their passion

Talk to people who seem to be living their dream life, and ask them how they found their passion. They may have some great insights that can help you on your own journey.

4. Follow your intuition

Your intuition is your superpower! And it's one of the best ways to figure out what your passion is. If something feels right or makes you feel good, it’s probably something you’re passionate about. Trust your gut and go with your instinct!

(Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash)

Is your business idea scalable?

It's also important to consider the scalability of your business idea. While it's tempting to start a business that solves a niche problem or appeals to a small market, it's important to think about the long-term potential for growth and expansion. 

What makes a business idea scalable?

A scalable business prioritises two main things: profitability and efficiency. The formula follows that as your workload and resources increases, so too should your profits. But in order to nail down the sweet spot of profitability and efficiency, you need a business idea that will keep  variable costs - or the costs incurred with each customer you gain - low. 

1. Think big, but also think practical

Think about how successful companies like Uber or Airbnb were able to expand their operations globally and become household names. Can your idea expand beyond your local market? Are there potential partnerships or collaborations that could take your business idea to the next level? Does your business offer a solution to a common problem, and will this demand expand over time? Also ask yourself whether the product or service can be produced and distributed efficiently and effectively. 

2. Do your research

If you don't have answers to the above questions, then it's up to you to do your research and ask for feedback. Once you've done that, ask yourself whether your business can function on a larger scale without putting out fires every other day. If the answer is a resounding 'yes', then you're on the right track.

Final thoughts on finding your business idea

So as you can see, finding a business idea that aligns with your strengths and passions, is validated through market research and customer feedback, and has the potential for scalability is key to building a successful business. Because if you want to catapult your business into success, you need an innovative solution that has the potential for long-term growth. 

So take the time to brainstorm, validate, and select an idea that not only excites you, but also has the potential to generate profitability - the key ingredient for any successful business venture.