Are you thinking about flying solo, taking the leap, being your own boss? Fear of the unknown and fear of failure can be paralyzing factors to our personal success. The best way to rid ourselves of these fears is by simply educating ourselves and finding the support that we need to bolster our self-confidence. Even the most successful entrepreneurs of all time have had massive failures on both a personal and professional level at some point in their careers. But every new prosperous enterprise first came from the same seed: a singular thought, a simple idea.
Amplifying the Idea
Sometimes the idea just naturally comes to us. But more times than not, we actually have to put forth a bit of extra effort to come up with a new and innovative concept that is going to prove financially profitable. By combining three different criteria, we can make the creative process much easier.
Consider your own personal interests combined with your unique abilities and a perceived untapped need in the marketplace. You need an idea that you are personally interested in, one that you are passionate about, or you will likely never be able to see it through. The idea must take full advantage of your special talents and abilities. This makes the learning curve much less frustrating. And you must be able to clearly define a measurable need for your idea in the marketplace. Then design the perfect solution that has your own individual style written all over it.
Now that you have your wonderful idea, what are you going to do with it? This is the important next step. You will want to clearly define the targeted audience of consumers who will be interested in your product or service. You will want to clearly define your personal and professional goals. Do you want to get rich? Or do you simply want to be creative and make a little extra money along the way? Neither option is wrong and both are completely possible, no matter what your original idea or concept may be.
There are unlimited possibilities in any business or artistic endeavor. We just have to learn how to best identify them. Brainstorming sessions with contemporaries in your field of expertise may be one possible method, but many of us may be fearful that our idea may be stolen. Put that fear away. No one has your unique abilities, passion, or vision.
Mind-mapping is another method of determining the unlimited potential of an idea. This is the visual charting method most often associated with writing a single word in the center of a page and branching out to other words and ideas in written form along the outer edges. Soon, you will have an intersecting graph of words and lines connecting from concept to concept.
Taking Care of Business
Developing any idea into a successful and profitable business enterprise requires a certain amount of business acumen. After all, you are going to want to keep the government happy when the money comes rolling in. But you also don’t want to throw money away by paying too many taxes or through poor bookkeeping practices. You will want to determine how best to set up your business. These are the most common options:
Sole Proprietorship: This is usually a one-man operation where the business owner is responsible for all taxes at the end of the year.
Limited Liability: This type of business can be owned by a group of people or a single individual. But certain protections are automatically put into pace, separating personal legal liabilities from those of the business.
Partnerships: These are businesses owned by more than one person. Percentages of ownership must be clearly defined and individual roles and responsibilities must be clearly documented.
Once you have determined which type of business that you want to develop, then you will have other items on your “To Do List.”
Choose and Trademark your Business Name: Scour the Internet to make sure that no one is using your preferred business name. It can be something obscure that has nothing to do with your product, like Apple, Inc. Or it can be something funny, like WhizBang Lollipops. Or something obvious, like Charlie’s Website Design. Once you have found your company name, make sure to register it for trademarking.
Of course, you are also going to want to set up some sort of bookkeeping system, look into acquiring personal healthcare insurance, , and a whole host of other fun details. But the above listed tasks will get you on your way to being a legal and official company.
You don’t want to miss out on these great resources:
- For Entrepreneurs – a superb blog by David Skok and a must-see resource!
- The Global Small Business Blog – for entrepreneurs interested in going global.
- Rock the Post – an independent crowdfunding site for startups.
- Business Owner’s Toolkit – this site serves no-nonsense advice for running a business.
- Chick CEO – offers downloadable tools such as business plans and contracts.