rubiksIf you have an idea for a business that simply must be realized, then the first step is not to rush out and do it, but to sit down and plan your route to success. Planning is the key to a stress free journey and nothing will highlight the route to realization more than a sable sit down with a pen and paper (or computer, whatever you prefer!) to make a plan. Today we are going to go through the main planning steps you need to take in order to help your idea come to fruition.

1.)   What is the end goal?

You cannot plan a journey if you do not know the destination, and what many people do when they have an idea is make an attempt to start from the beginning and work their way to the end. Whilst this is possible, what is more possible is to start at the end (which is probably how your idea came to you: fully formed and alive) and then plot your way towards it once you have it written down. You can work this out in many ways, however one easy way is to take a sheet of A4 paper, and write your end goal at the top. Now, working from the bottom of the paper, plot all of the steps you need to take to get to the top of the page. Working always with your end goal in mind is a good way to start because it will help you stay focused on what you are planning which is important, otherwise you will end up modifying your idea all of the way through until part one, part three and part six of your overall plan are all about different things thanks to constant idea modification.

2.)   How will it profit?

Once you have your idea and a short plan, the next most important factor is how to make your plan into a viable business, and that means deciding how this will make money. Although before an idea is realized there is no money, it is very important to think ahead about the market place and the costs and rewards involved in the arena that you are about to enter as this will be a major framework for your planning.

3.)   How will you take your idea to market?

It doesn’t matter how wonderful the idea is if no one knows about it, and for this reason how you will market your idea will be key. This part of your planning is not really about budget, as even a massive budget can be wasted on poor marketing. This is also not about becoming the number one in your field. When you are planning your business, the most important factor is to profit and then grow and so if you can handle that part, then you are on the route to success. Planning for a global takeover is great, but not very useful when you are trying to get started.

Ben is a business expert and writes for Oracle Finance. He loves helping people get their start ups off the ground and is always happy to help.