The time that you take do things properly in the beginning is invaluable. Remember that if your business is successful you will never have this "free" time again. My suggestion would be to conduct as much research as you can and without a doubt finish your business plan. If you try to get funding with a half complete business plan and a little market research, I do not think you will get very far. Start completing what you have started then I will be the first to respond to your next post on, what to do now?
Definitely stay here at Start up nation for the motivation. If you don`t already, get the podcast or listen online!
Get that plan done. If you have questions or need some inspiration, there are plenty of posts in this forum and articles on the SuN website to help you along.
Do you have questions about moving forward with your business plan??
Thank you all so much for the responses. I knew I came to the right place when I signed up here. I have a question about market research. If I have no money to do official market research, what`s the best way to go about it?
Question #2: Business plan format. I need one. Know where I can get a template or outline for one?
Hardly any small business has money for professional market research. The trick is simple: do your own! Talk with potential users of your product/service. Find out what they think about your idea and how to improve it. Have a "survey" on your web site that people can take. By the way, note that there are 2 distinct types of market research. One deals with the market (size, segmentation, competition, etc), the other deals with the people in this market (users, distributors, dealers, etc). Remember you need both! Use the internet to search for info regarding the market, its size, and the competition.
Template for biz plan: Internet! Google "business plan" and you`ll find plenty. You can also always buy a version of "Business Plan Pro" software.
Good luck & lots of success,
Hope this isn`t too late for you since the last post was a few days ago, but here`s what I have done so far.
I went to every competitor and looked to see what each one had going on (shops), what seemed to keep them buzzing, what their customers seemed to be interested in, and any other info I could gather. For you it might mean websearching under your idea topic.
Then I`ve been calling every agency I think I might need (thanks to some of the SuNation people) such as CPA, Insurance Agent, Commercial Retail Space to see what other space rents for, software co. to see what its product sells for, etc. I even went so far as to check on merchandise cost for product needed and what might be needed at the shop.
I`m still not done, but it`s only cost me some long distance calls so far (I`m doing some of this while I`m out of town).
Hope this helps.
Try to sell something, now....sell yourself (in a meeting, to a prospective client), sell your idea (to some friends, business contacts), sell a bit of the plan (in a forum such as this, but keep IP details private), even sell some of the end result (can you create some articles, a short ebook, a piece/part of the product, or even an image/description of the product?). Get the "selling" going, build the "buzz", a little bit at a time - seeding the eventual, bigger sales. Create the marketplace and the merchants..ready to receive your product.
You might find, quickly, that the route you`ve chosen is actually different than what you`ve planned, or imagined.