Did you know that 3 in 5 Americans wish they could bring their small business dreams to life? Launching your own business can be daunting, but following through with turning your business dreams into a reality can be ultimately rewarding.
While it may seem silly and unattainable to one person, it doesn’t have to be that way! If you put your mind to it, focus, and follow this guide, you can make your business vision a reality.
So what are you waiting for? Read this guide of helpful tips to learn everything you need to know to start your own business and turn your everyday dreams into an everyday reality!
1. Start With a Plan
When beginning to think about creating the business of your dreams, dreaming can be amazing and inspiring. But you have to start developing a plan if you desire to realize those dreams in the future.
The first thing to know is that it may take some time to develop this plan – there is a lot that goes into it that you will need to plan for. The planning stage is critical and may take longer than you want in real life.
This is especially true because you must make sure you plan for every detail – even the ones you may not want to. This would include things that are out of your control, if you have a difficult financial situation, things that could go wrong, what you will do if they do go wrong, what to expect if your business grows exponentially, what happens if you don’t, and more.
So, where do you start?
Start With The Basics
Starting to plan with the basic surface features can make your life much easier. This gets the most important things done first and out of the way, but they are also necessary, so you are taking the right steps to make your dreams a reality.
To do this, start with the following:
- Think of a business name
- Create a logo
- Come up with a mission statement or a purpose for your business (this is your ‘why’)
When you do this, you are creating a brand for yourself and an identity for your brand that will send a message to your target audience.
When you come up with your business name, this should have something to do with your service or products. If you are coming up with a name that has nothing to do with either, it can confuse potential clients. So make sure that in addition to creating a name that has to do with your services and products, you also make sure it catches people’s attention.
Your mission statement or purpose should be a message you can send to your target clients about why they should use your business instead of someone else’s. This can increase the odds that you gain more customers or clients. Many people want to know the why, and this can be the deciding factor between choosing your company or someone else’s.
Running the Business
Part of the surface features, in addition to the ones that create your brand identity, is coming up with how you are going to run your company. For instance, are you going to work from home, or do you need a space to work with? Will you have a partner? Do you need to hire employees, or do you plan to start this as a solopreneur at first? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you start your plan.
2. Set Goals for Your Business Dreams
This may seem obvious, but many small business owners or people who want to follow their dreams dive in head first and can’t keep up with the demand. Without goal setting, many things can fail – even something as simple as knowing how many emails to respond to in one day.
When setting goals, you want to make sure you set S.M.A.R.T. Goals. This stands for:
Let’s dive into that a bit more.
When setting goals for your business or making your dream a reality, you need to set specific goals.
For instance, you don’t want to say:
Make money this year from my business.
While you definitely want to make money from your business, this is not a specific goal. Instead, your goal should tell you a specific amount of money or where specifically you will make your money.
It would look something like this:
Make enough money to afford all my present business expenses.
This time, you can measure your profits against your business expenses to determine if the goal is met. It is specific.
When you set goals, you also want to ensure they are measurable.
This means you should be able to answer these questions with a specific and measurable goal:
- How many/much of something?
- How do I know if I have reached my goal?
- What is my indicator of progress?
If you can answer these questions, your goal is measurable. For instance, it could look something like this:
I want to gain one more client every month than the previous one.
You can easily measure this.
When setting goals, you want to ensure that you can achieve them. If you can’t, there’s not much reason to work toward the goal.
This is an example of an unachievable goal:
Make one million dollars in the first year of my business.
While you may be able to achieve that, it is most likely not realistic when you are starting out.
It may look something like this:
Make $5,000 per month from business revenue.
When you set an achievable goal and then overachieve, you’ll be more excited and feel more effective in your business than if you feel defeated from not reaching a goal. And you can always make the goal more of a challenge for next time!
This one is pretty straightforward. All of your goals should be about your business and your success. In addition, they should be relevant regarding what you want to achieve and get out of your business.
Setting time-sensitive goals give you a timeframe to achieve them. Instead of giving you an endless amount of time, you have to try to achieve them in a certain amount of time.
For instance, you should try to set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to meet. This way, you always have something to work toward.
3. Make Prototypes for Your Products
Not all dreams and businesses have products, but you must make a prototype if yours does. When you have a business vision, you must try it before fully committing. This helps you work through the kinks and any faults that may come from it. Most importantly, this step is important when thinking about making your business dreams a reality because it will help you determine if this product will work.
For instance, let’s say your idea is to produce a new technology software to help with payroll. You must create a prototype before it goes on the market to see if it works. You will also have to work out the kinks and see if they work for you. Or let’s say you are a clothing company and want to make beanies. First, you should make one beanie to see how it works and looks on people. If it looks weird, it may not sell. If it doesn’t fit a head, it won’t sell.
These are the types of kinks and faults you must work out when designing prototypes for your products before creating a bunch at one time without knowing if they work.
4. Find the Right Investors and Investment Options for You
Most likely, you don’t have the money you need to start your business venture. But that’s not always possible to have – especially if your business venture is on the more costly side! But if you believe in your business idea, you may be able to get other people to believe in it, too. But that’s not the only way to go about getting money for your business. Here are a few of your options.
If you believe in your business idea and feel that you could benefit the most from getting investors to help you, then you can start to ask around for others to invest in your business.
If this is your route, you must prepare a presentation or offer for the investors.
Questions to Think About
You need to think about the following:
- What portion of your profits will they receive?
- Will they receive a monetary sum or a percentage of the profits?
- Will they always back your business, or will you eventually go with another route to find investments?
- How much money are you asking for?
- Will you be able to pay them back?
These questions can help you determine if asking for investors and pitching to them is the right move for your business idea.
Pitching Your Ideas
When it comes to pitching your brilliant idea, you also want to make sure that you start with the right impression. To do so, it’s important that you dress the part. You should also have confidence in every word you say. They won’t believe you if you don’t believe it yourself.
A sales pitch to investors must be inspiring and energetic. This will help to convince them more than if you pitch in a mundane and boring way. Better yet, show off the prototypes you have already created as part of your pitch to show them what you are going for.
Get a Loan
Another route that you can go to financially back your business venture is through a loan. Again, doing your research can help you determine the right loan for your business needs to determine what type will work best for you. If you can talk to a financial advisor at a bank, this is a great route to take if you are also going for a loan.
5. Ask For Help
While you may want this to start as a solopreneur venture, you may eventually need to ask for help. And even if you do go at this solo to start, you can still ask for help. For example, although you may not be hiring someone, you could ask friends and family for advice, their thoughts, and their options.
For instance, if you create a prototype of a product, you could ask others what they think of it or if they would use it or purchase it. This is asking others for a small lift that can make a huge difference for your business and your ideas.
Additionally, your family members may have more knowledge about a specific niche than you do. Some may know more about taxes and small businesses, while someone else may know about designing products, a website, or online businesses.
On the other hand, another friend could know about marketing your products and services. To get your feet in the door and get started, you can always ask for advice for things that you are not as familiar with or fields that you aren’t as experienced in. As time goes on, you may eventually need to hire someone or get more support, but even from the start, as a solopreneur, you can still ask for help!
6. Know You Will Fail
Even if you do ask for help (or if you don’t), you are most likely going to fail at some parts of your business. Maybe you don’t reach a goal you wanted to reach, or you mess up a prototype. We’re all human, and that’s part of the entrepreneurial journey, owning a business and taking risks! Without the risks, you won’t achieve the results that you hope to see.
In fact, 1 in 4 entrepreneurs fails at their business before becoming a successful entrepreneur. That means you are likely going to fail at something before seeing that success, too.
Don't Be Afraid of Failing
Failing has a negative stigma attached to it. We’re taught from a young age that failure is bad – like getting a C or below on a test or screwing up in another way as a child. But failing doesn’t have to be a bad thing! It can actually lead to further success instead – that is, if you use the failure to your advantage.
When you fail, this can identify a weakness in part of your business. For instance, maybe a prototype doesn’t end up working. Instead of giving up, you can start to think of ways to pivot your brand or business prototype to make it more appealing or work better.
One way to do this is to get feedback. While feedback can sometimes be hard to hear, it can also help you determine what you need to change and what could be better about your business. And from there, you can make something that makes sense and works and doesn’t fail. This process is how failure can actually lead you to be successful. It just takes time to get there.
7. Don't Give Up on Your Dreams
It can be extremely easy and enticing to give up on your goals. Usually, when you are about to give up, it’s the moments that come after that that can be your defining experiences that lead to your success. It is also in those moments right when you want to give up that your business may take a turning point. Business takes perseverance, patience, and hard work to overcome those moments on the path of entrepreneurs.
However, there is proof that not giving up works. For instance, Peloton owner John Foley got many, many “no’s” before getting any “yes’s.” And he could have given up. But he didn’t. At present, his business is worth over $2.39 billion. Just imagine if he gave up!
Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx, failed the LSAT twice until she decided to sell fax machines door to door for 7 years. From there, she created one of the best products of all time – making her a self-made billionaire. These are not the only stories like that, but it shows the importance of not giving up.
The Importance of Not Giving Up
These stories could be you. That’s the main reason behind not giving up! You don’t know what you can be until you give it your absolute all. Here are a few other reasons that you shouldn’t give up on your goals and dreams.
Every Step Counts
Every single time you overcome something, you are showing yourself that you really can do it. If you can overcome one thing, you can start to overcome the more difficult things as well. One step at a time. Eventually, all these steps will add up to something bigger.
Create New Opportunities
When you openly choose not to give up, you are choosing to let new opportunities flow to you. You are opening up your energy to the world to say, “I’m ready! Bring it on!”. This will bring opportunities to your doorstep that you never even knew were out there! And before you know it, you’ll be seeing success.
Nothing Happens Overnight
From the outside, it can look like a lot of people get what they want overnight. But that is never what actually happens – it just may appear that way from the outside.
For instance, that girl you follow on Instagram that is becoming a travel blogger and living out her dreams of full-time travel? She’s been working on that for years, putting hours of work into her socials and planning when other people were out and about at the bars or spending time with family.
That coffee shop you grab a drink from every week? That didn’t just pop up overnight. That took months of planning, investing, and dreaming about it in order for it to come to life. While it may look like some people’s dream happens overnight, it is a culmination of weeks, months, and even years of hard work paying off. And although the payoff may seem sudden and happen when it is least expected, the years of hard work are still all behind the scenes.
You'll Get Stronger
When you have a business vision and go through with it, you are making yourself stronger. You learn from the ups and downs and can learn from the difficult moments. As you go through these, it makes the nice moments even better, and you’ll value the good days that you have.
As they say, nothing good ever comes super easy! And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, too!
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
When you dream, you may not think those dreams will ever come true. A lot of times, society tells us that dreams are just that – dreams. They are something we can think about as we take breaks from work or lay awake in bed at night. But that doesn’t have to be what happens! You can truly make your business dreams into a reality if you follow these helpful tips above.
It’s not easy, it’s a lot of work, and it will take time. No one ever said that creating a successful business was easy. However, it will be worth it when you see your business dreams become your reality.
One way to help get you there is by hiring a small business coach. Dean Mercado has several options you can choose from for coaching so you can get your strategy together and get to where you want to be! Before you know it, you’ll be scaling your business from nothing to something extraordinary.
Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out!