Starting a Small Business/Idea then team

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Question
Hello Lee

I am interested to start a company. This is one of my dreams since my graduation from university. I did engineering and then business degrees for that purpose. I know how challenging and risky entrepreneuship is.

I have ideas and like to search for new ideas that will turn to opportunities. But I get stuck at this level . I need to mold that idea to be marketable and compelling and sellable. maybe I need a mentor or a coach but that is easier said then done. Then to implement that idea I need a team and this is another difficulty : how to put people in your ship and convince them while this is only an idea and only your idea.

So to put it simply I have two questions please:
1 what is your advice if I always can't go further than idea phase?
2 what is your advice to have a partner who can do what you can't and vice versa

Thx

Answer
Hello fellow Brit. You have done well to build your foundation of your business now you need to get down to the nitty gritty and fortunately in this modern world it is much easier.  There are two sayings you need to remember:

You eat an elephant a small piece at a time.
No one made money selling to no one.

In other words, start slow and find your market.

I am going to suggest that you start by writing your business plan.  If you do not know how to do this, work with a mentor such as myself who will help you. www.BusinessPlanNow.com  if your finances do not allow for this specific advice then get a limited amount of free advice from: https://www.gov.uk/browse/business

Writing your business plan will enable you to plan your business in a structured format.  Now to your questions and my sayings.


1 what is your advice if I always can't go further than idea phase?

You are trying to jump into a business too quickly.  Plan it out carefully and test it.  To the second saying, if no one wants to buy from you then you do not have a business.  Start slowly and research your ideas.  Pop over to those masters of sales: Amazon, eBay, etsy and fivver and see what is selling, how popular they are and what kind of money things are selling for.  You say engineering but no clue of what you want to sell.  So if your intended products are not covered here, and most B2C (business to consumer) products are then research on the internet.  You want - types of market (kinds of people that buy), where these people are, how much they tend to pay and who the big players in the market are.  

Now hop over to a few forums, blogs and Facebook places.  Track through some big players on LinkedIn and get an idea of what is being asked for and provided in your market place.  Try and find a niche that is not being satisfied.  If people keep asking the same question and not getting an answer you have a niche.

Set up a questionnaire on a site such as surveymonkey and post it in some forums and look at the answers.

Now you should have an idea as to what can sell, at what price and to whom.

Get yourself set up legally, the last thing you want is problems with HMIT, so get a business account and keep the payments and costs separate from your own money.

Now test the market on one of the big selling sites, it is easy enough to set up an account.  Test, alter and keep testing until you get a viable and interesting product at the correct price.

Set yourself up a website and learn how to market it.


2 what is your advice to have a partner who can do what you can't and vice versa

You do not need a partner to set up your company, that comes along when you can afford it.  Outsource the stuff you cannot do by doing your research to find a suitable company or hopping over to elance or guru. Fivver will get you some cheap design and marketing.

Start slowly with this one, partners eat up your equity and employees take away your turnover.

I wish you luck.  

Starting a Small Business

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Lee Lister

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If you are a serious entrepreneur and want to set up your own business or ensure that your existing business is more profitable then let me assist you. I answer questions on business start up, business strategy, business models, business planning, marketing plans, marketing strategy, branding, business tune ups and business improvement. I do not answer any legal, tax or accountancy questions - you should see your own professional adviser about these. If you cannot be bothered to read and rate my answers - I can't be bothered to answer yours! If you have a small internet based company, I would welcome your help in completing a survey and helping me with my Masters Dissertation. I am researching how a small company can build its brand and grow quickly using social media marketing. The survey takes 4 minutes and all information is confidential and will NEVER be used for marketing purposes. Thank you in advance. The link to the survey is below: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1679437/Branding-using-Social-Media

Experience

Over 20 year’s management, IT and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur.

Publications
A prolific writer and published author, I write on entrepreneurship, project, bid management and career improvement.

Education/Credentials
BA (Hons) Economics MSc Marketing Management , studying for DBA. Numerous business qualifications.

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