Starting a Business

Is your business idea viable?

Follow these steps to find out if your light bulb moment is a potentially viable business idea.

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Is your business idea viable? Even the best concepts fall flat without a proper foundation. Follow these steps to find out if your light bulb moment is a potentially viable business idea.

Have a business idea? Let's test it.

Research the market

Thorough market research can help you determine the costs, competition, size and viability of a target market.

Good places to start:

  • Internet and libraries
  • Blogs
  • Magazines, trade journals and newspapers
  • Other media

Understand the market? Still think your idea is viable? Great! Let's check out the next step!

Define the paying customer

Define your ideal customers and their buying habit. Define and categorize by:

  • Conducting surveys and polls online
  • Interviewing potential customers
  • Searching for existing data on your demographic

Solicit honest feedback

Don't be afraid to ask others what they think. Let potential customers test a few price points or try out the products themselves. Try consulting your friends, family or peers in addition to prospective customers, local store owners or even your competition.

Now that you have armed yourself with all this data, let's get started with planning the business.

Consider the marketing strategy

What type of marketing? How much will it cost? Here are a few basics:

  • Website: basic sites range between $750-$3,000
  • Social media marketing: cost-effective; most platforms are free
  • Low-cost marketing: blogging or product demo videos
  • Face-to-face networking: build business relationships at local events

Assess the costs of your venture

Determine the monthly overhead, sales needed to cover expenses, and net profit.

  • Cost of materials: inventory, ingredients, and components
  • Cost of labor: time and money needed for service of offering

Once you've calculated the costs, set the price point. Remember, you must cover costs and generate profit on every sale to remain viable. Research and experience will help you determine the viability and profitability of your idea.

Starting a Business

Making your business plan a reality

Creating your business plan is just the beginning. Learn the next steps to making your plan come to life.

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Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan

Create a solid overview of your business to share with investors, banks, and partners.

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Writing a Business Plan

When I wrote my business plan

Hear how business owner Coco Soodek created her first business plan — and what she’s learned about business planning since. Coco Soodek is a radio show host, business consultant, and paid contributor for Wells Fargo.

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