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Small Biz Focus: Bringing Your Business Idea to Life

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” — Walt Disney

We recently held a BizLaunch Webinar on “What to Do with Your Fabulous Business Idea.”

This got us to thinking we need to share the content of the program with our ARLnow Small Biz Focus readers. What are the quick steps one needs to take to launch your idea(s) successfully? We know you have a ton of ideas. How do you execute them? How did you get the momentum to start doing and quit thinking and talking about it?

Bringing your business idea to life is the step you need to take before you write your business plan. What do you need to know that you don’t know as an entrepreneur?

BizLaunch’s 6 quick tips to launch your fabulous business idea:

  • Step One: Get Organized. Clear out the clutter, and clear your desk. Invest (minimally) in the tools you’ll need to launch your business. A computer. A notebook. Pen. Paper. Use a calendar system to incorporate milestones you need to accomplish to successfully launch your business. Also invest in a constructive way to maintain your notes and information you need to help bring the idea to fruition. Understand how much cash on hand you need to launch your idea.
  • Step Two: Write Down ALL of Your ideas. Brainstorm. List all of the ideas you can think of to construct into a business. Ideas should include where you have the most background and expertise. Ideas of which you have passion, and are committed to. There are no right or wrong answers. You’ll want to capture everything, and write them down.
  • Step Three: Use a System to Rank Your Ideas. Place your top ideas into four distinct categories. There is an “A,” “B,” “C” or Trash category. As you rank your ideas – ask & score the following questions up to 10 points:
    • Are there opportunities in this industry?
    • Do you have experience in this field?
    • Are their regulations and policies which make it easier or harder to enter the market?
    • How many influencers do you know in this space?
    • Do you have enough cash?
    • What is your potential target market?
    • Does this idea make you happy just thinking about it?
    • Do you have the time to dedicate to the launch of the idea?
    • Do you have access to legal representation?
    • Do you understand accounting?

  • Step Four: Narrow Your Multiple Ideas (using the ranking system) to 1-3 that you can Execute. Any ideas that score less than 69% can be placed in the holder, an idea that scores above 90% can be left in the A category and narrowed down to the top 1-3 ideas you need to launch. After you have identified your top 1-3 ideas initiate a S-W-O-T Analysis. These are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that can positively or negatively impact your business idea.
  • Step Five: And then there was one. Identify the main idea that you’d like to launch after your analysis. Pick one idea that stands out as the “low hanging fruit,” where you will be able to maximize your return with minimal effort.
  • Step Six: Time for Market Research. Investigate what it means to launch your idea into realty. What are the policies, regulations and certifications that can impact what you’d like to do? Are they insurmountable or do you have the tools you need to succeed? Identify the target market and understand who will be buying your product and/or service. What type of legal assistance will you need: contracts, partnership agreements or commercial leasing? Identify an accountant who could best help you with the books.

Keep these six steps in mind as you seek to execute your business idea. Remember, BizLaunch is only a step away if you need assistance. We can help you with what you need to do to make your idea reality!

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As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

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