I talk to people everyday that want to start a business. Most of them have interesting ideas but things start to go down hill from there. Many people get bogged down in complicated business processes, creative legal structures and the need for large amounts of financing. Due to this they may never get started. To these people I recommend you step back and take a deep breath. Don't make starting a business any more difficult than it needs to be. Simplify, especially in the early stages of the business.
Here are a few "Easy Button" things you should consider as you are developing your business idea.
Does your background provide you the skills to create a business around your idea?
The "Ah Ha" moment where you come up with your idea is actually the easy part. The challenging part is building a workable business model around the idea.
What is your plan to build your business?
Note...I didn't say to do a business plan, I asked what your plan was to build your business. If you are a regular reader of this blog or have heard me speak on business development you know I am an advocate of the process of planning but not big on business plans. To many people get hung up on the structured format of a business plan and never really end up with anything workable. I prefer developing goals and the series of steps that will lead you to your goals, regardless of format.
Can you do it or do you need someone else?
Sometimes you just can't do everything yourself and need outside help. This is fine but the question is how much outside help. I once met with a person that had a retail prodcut idea. That is pretty much all that he had, an idea. To create the business he needed a designer, manufacturer, and investor. Without those things he could not move forward.
What is your legal structure?
Amazingly to a lot of people this is starting a business. What is it is filling out paperwork. Don't get me wrong it has to be done and can be somewhat complicated but I don't know anyone that has ever made any sales because they chose to be a S-corp over and LLC.
How much financing do you need?
External financing is never needed to build a business. Now having said that, without external funding it may take 50 years to get to where you could get in five years with funding but in both cases you reached your goal. You need to think about funding as fuel for growth. The more money you have the faster you can implement your plan and grow. However, that funding comes at a cost. You need to really determine if you are ready to obtain funding before your pursue it.
Execute, Review, Adjust, Repeat
Once you start your business focus on moving forward. As your business progresses you need to constantly be looking at actual vs plan. How are you doing? You may find that you need to make adjustments, re-set and get going again. This is not a problem and is very common. The key is that you are moving forward.