As a business mentor, my goal is to ensure that my clients succeed in launching and growing their business. It is often said that the majority of new businesses fail. But the truth may not be so stark. In fact, some studies show that approximately 50 percent of businesses are still viable after five years.

With passion, research and hard work, you can start a new business and make it thrive. Here are five key steps to transform your idea into a successful business venture:

Step #1: Ask Two Relevant Questions

Before you start moving forward with your business idea, there are two key questions you need to ask:

  • What problem/need is my business solving/meeting?
  • Is that problem or need being adequately met in my target market?

These questions are at the heart of any successful enterprise. If you are offering a product or service that meets a need in a market that is not being uniquely served, you are on solid ground to move ahead.

Step #2: Determine Your Idea’s Viability

Charging head-first with a new business idea without taking steps to evaluate its viability is one of the common mistakes new entrepreneurs make. For example, even great ideas can fail if the timing isn’t right.

By conducting research into your market, competitors and other variables, you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed. One great online tool to assist with this determination is Sizeup from the U.S. Small Business Association. It helps map potential customers and identify vendors and competitors. Once you have all the key metrics, you will be in an ideal position to determine if it is a strategic decision to move forward.

Step #3: Formulate a Plan

Developing a plan that articulates how your business will operate and what the key goals are is essential. It will also provide you with a blueprint to navigate issues when they arise.

Step #4: Ensure Sufficient Capital

Lack of money is guaranteed to prevent a business from taking off. To ensure you have sufficient funds, develop a one-year budget with cash flow projections. You will also need to secure enough money to get started, which includes possibility for growth.

Step #5: Recruit a Talented Team

Business is a team sport. Having a talented team to rely on during the difficult first few weeks and months of a new business is essential. Don’t just recruit people with great skills; they should also share your values and vision. 

The Takeaway

Launching a new business can be daunting, filled with numerous challenges. But by following these steps, you will be in a better position to succeed. After all, it’s your money, your business and your life.

Contact me if you are interested in learning more or want information on being mentored.