Australia is one of the top two countries in the world for women to start a business. So the perfect time to turn your idea into reality is right now, says Rare Birds founder and CEO Jo Burston.
Congratulations – you’ve got your business idea. Don’t sit on it and let someone else turn your dream into their reality.
According to The 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index, from the Global Entrepreneurship And Development Institute, Australia ranks as the second best country in the world for female entrepreneurs.
We have great educational institutions that support women who want to launch start-ups and we have a near perfect eco-system for helping these businesses become successful.
So, if you’ve got an idea for a product or a service, this is what you should do next:
1. Share your idea
Start with running your idea by somebody else. Richard Branson swears by what he has termed, ‘The Mum Test’ – if his idea doesn’t inspire his mother, then it’s scrapped.
Of course, he has the advantage of having an entrepreneurial mother too, but his choice of confidante is simple: choosing someone who you trust on a personal level and on a business level is the first step to figuring out if your idea is worth pursuing.
2. Creating your business plan
The next step is to figure out how your business would run on a financial level. If your market research is done, create a ‘bottom-up’ financial model for the first phase of your business, focusing on exactly how to create, market and sell your product or service to an individual user.
Then create a ‘top-down’ model which looks at the size of your market and which goals you need to meet to turn a profit. At the same time, you should be thinking about the first phase of your business:
- Your missions.
- Competitive advantage.
Examine the strategies and business models of your potential competitors and your aspirational competitors:
- How did they get to where they are?
- What would you do differently
- What could you do in the same way?
You should also be looking at your existing networks – who should you think about bringing on board? Business partners, mentors and discussions with other entrepreneurs can be a beneficial way to test the waters at this stage, and can also help you to expand your business network.
3. Figuring out funding
Once you’ve gathered feedback and implemented any adjustments, the next step is to find your funding. Choosing the right source of funding for your business is essential and Rare Birds detailed information that can help guide you on the different types of funding available in Australia.
4. Evaluations and adjustments
Once you’ve launched, it’s time to re-evalute. What strategies succeeded, which ones failed, and why? Use the information you gather from early adopters to remodel your strategies, remembering that there is no such thing as failure when starting a business – there are only learning curves.
Changing your business’s direction is not failure, it’s simply you figuring out what adjustments you need to make to ensure its success. At this stage, it’s really important to remember why you started and to keep your ‘big picture’ and long-term goals in sight.
What challenges have you experienced launching your business? Please post your comments and join in the conversation. We would love to know your thoughts on this subject.