Testing out your business plan and idea
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Starting your entrepreneurial adventure on a good start
A business plan is the foundation of every new business. In it, you describe your dream to open a business and the ideas and assumptions that support it. It's a critical first step down the road to creating your business and charting your course. It contains your mission, offer, market research, marketing plan, financial plan and more. A complete business plan helps you assess the potential of your idea and its short-, medium- and long-term viability. You can also use it to attract business partners, investors and lenders.
Taking your idea forward and facing the reality of the market
You can't learn about local market conditions on Google. Though it can be a frightening proposition for the timid, testing out your idea is key—especially when you're starting your own business and doing your market research, a critical step in the business planning process.
Making competition your best allyThe best way to learn about the competition is to pretend to be a customer. This exercise will inform your concept and pricing. If you've already pretended to be a shopper and still want more information, just call to get answers to your questions.
Encountering your future environment
Want to market a product? Go see distributors to talk over your idea. Worst-case scenario? They tell you the competition is fierce and a similar product is already selling like hotcakes. Best-case scenario? They give you priceless advice based on their intimate knowledge of customers' buying habits, likes and dislikes. If your product is under development, show them mock-ups or drawings. Show your product to potential customers and experts in your field.