Saturday, 13 December 2008


A new invention is often the starting point for a successful business, but the journey from an idea or prototype to a product on a store shelf can be long and difficult. This actionlist looks at the steps involved in this journey, from the protection of the idea to financing and marketing of the final product.


Choose the next step
Once the research has shown a potential market for your product, you have several options available: you could choose to manufacture and market your invention yourself; you could outsource production but distribute and market your product yourself; you could merge your production, sales and marketing with an established partner or you could license the rights to the invention for others to make and market it themselves.

Develop your business plan
Your invention may have too much scope for you fully to exploit its potential on your own. Or you may feel that you do not have the depth of specialized knowledge and skills to develop all the individual aspects of a successful business plan-management, finance, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution- without professional aid, but do not wish to consider a partnership or merger at this stage. Additionally your potential investors will more easily be persuaded to fund a well structured business venture that presents an attractive and totally developed plan to them.

Monday, 1 December 2008


Whether your starting up or in business already, its a crucial to be clear about what your business does or will do, so that you can focused on the appropriate target market. Prospective investors in your business will look closely at this purpose when they assess whether you have the strategic direction for future success. You also need to be clear about why you are going to this business in the first place, and what you want of it. Investors need to understand your motivation and your intentions, so that they can judge whether these match the plans that you set out for development of the business.

Making it Happen

Identify your customer
A better starting point is to define the purpose of your business in response to customer needs-making your business market-driven. define your business purpose in terms of your customers and what you percieve thier needs to be.

Make your purpose different
To succeed againts competitors, your business needs to offer something different. Built this differentiation into your purpose, so everything you do can be judged in terms of whether it supporsts the purpose or not. Potential investors want to see your your business unique selling proposition as this is the basis on which you will complete and on which customers will be attracted.

Write a mission statement
Your business mission is a statement of purpose that guides your activities. It is a summary of what you do. The mission provides the guiding direction for developing strategy , searching out opportunities and making resource allocation choices. It is built on your core values, so should easily understand by customers and financial backers. You can often established your mission in terms of the question "What business are we in?"

Decide what you want your business to be after couple of years
Ask yourself what opportunities and threats there might be, and summarise your vision into a single statement. Try to envisage this so you can start to move your business towards that point.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Setting up your own business can be very rewarding, but there are pressures involved. Its not enough just to have a good viable idea, you also need to have the right skills and temperament to make the opportunity succeed. Starting your own business is also a risky thing to do, so you need to be aware of what problems to look out for as early as possible. This will help you decide if you are willing and able to take those risk, and will also help you apply strategies that will reduce them.

Before you go any further, its important to find out as much as you can about what sort of person you are. Be honest and objective, and discuss the project with friends, colleagues and relatives. Think about how you have dealt with the past challenges, as an indication of your response to difficult new situations. This action will help you decide whether starting a business is the right thing for you to do.

Making it Happen

Assess your Abilities and Resources
Starting your own business is a risky thing to do, so you get to grips with the various risks as early as possible. This will help you decide if you are willing and able to make those risk. It will also help you apply strategies that will reduce the risk.

You need to ask yourself several questions:
a. Do you have the financial resources and can you afford to risk them?
b. Do you have sufficient experience and technical skills to perform the core functions of your new business?
c. Are you familiar enough with the market to be able to asses its needs and adapt to each changes?
d. Do you have the tenacity and discipline to see through hard times will cash will be short and demands will be heavy?

While you might not be able to answer this questions completely, it is really important to find out as much as you can about what sort of person you are and to do that you might be honest and objective. Think about how you have dealt with the past challenges, as an indication of your response to difficult new situations.

Look at your Objectives
Why do you want to start your own business? There are many good reasons but there is often the danger of having unrealistic expectations. Here are some reasons that people often give, and some notes of caution:
a. Independence
b. Greater job satisfaction
c. Achievement and success
d. More money

Assess your skills
Assessing your skills is a useful process as it will help you identify areas in which you need training. These will contribute towards your changes of being successful in business. There are many sources of training avialable in small business, in the local colleges and in universities. The internet is also one of the great source of business informations.

Be pre pared for the pressures
The pressures of being self-employed are inescapable. You may have to work long hours and there will be times when things get on top of you. You may well get into dept in order to finance the enterprise. You will need to maintain your faith in your business, often in the face of other peoples doubt.
There will be some days that you feel depressed, lonely and isolated. If you employ people you will need to be positive and show leadership at all times. There will be some days that you will need to tough and prepared to discipline difficult employess, or make difficult demands on your suppliers. You also need to be polite and helpful even when an awkward customer is giving you a hard time.
Also, you must be sure that your family can accommodate the risks that self-employment can bring, especially in terms of lower income in the initial stages and maybe even the implications of the business failing. Take time to talk to all members of your family who might be affected by your choice to be your own boss.