As Gary Vaynerchuk says:
"Ideas are shit without execution"
If you are like me and your main focus and motivation when you decided to start a business was to leave your 9-5 job, then it is crucial to actually create a plan for your business. This plan is going to include the most important aspects of your business: Your purpose, the product(s) or service that you'll sell, how are you going to promote and sell, etc.
The mistake that many entrepreneurs make is creating a detailed business plan without even researching or validating their ideas.
As Eric Reis states in The Lean Startup (you can read our post on the 6 books EVERY entrepreneur needs to read) one of the primary causes of startup failure is not validating the idea beforehand.
Still, creating a short and concise (15 minute) business plan before you start trying to validate your idea is very helpful.
Write down what is your purpose for starting a business, and more importantly what is the problem you are trying to solve for your customers/users.
Every successful business solves a problem. What is the problem you'll solve for your audience?
Knowing your business purpose will let you create a better product, create a better brand, understand your customers, and understand how to sell to them.
It's very important to know who your team and supporters will be. Are you a solopreneur? A team of two? 10?
This step is only to get ideas for your validation. I say this because I think the best products are probably going to appear in your head after you research your market and learn what your audience is really asking for.
Once you finish filling these pages, you'll have a detailed map to go from where you are to where you want to be. Another great idea is to convert all of these answers into actions you can take every day. Let's say your promotion plan is to create a high traffic blog. You can transform that into actionable steps like writing one blog post every 2 weeks.
After creating this first business plan, the next step is validating your idea. Validation can be tricky but it is always worth the effort. You don't want to create a product or offer a service that no one wants.
I strongly recommend that you read The Lean Startup and start applying lean principles into the creation of your business.
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