Business Ideas: Your Plan and Business Actions

Have you ever wondered how you get your business ideas, and plans, into action and make progress with your dream business?

Your business ideas need clarity in what you want and where you are going.

I think we’d all love to wake up in the morning feeling invigorated and excited to greet the day because we have a business that is fulfilling and adds meaning to the lives of others, as we help solve their problems.

Begin today, write down your business ideas…

Where is this journey taking you? Your business ideas can take you on a fun adventure – when you know where you want to go and know the steps you need to put into place to get there.

  • Having vision and a mission for your business to use in setting your goals and objectives – will help you keep clear and focused.

Successful people understand the importance of planning in their lives. If I were driving from Texas to California, I would need to have a strategy – a plan.

This is how I used to think, ‘Well, of course, that makes sense, I know what my plan and goals are for my business ideas – I don’t need the tasks of writing this down! It just uses up time and feels like I am procrastinating in getting started on the real work.’

  • I was procrastinating by not writing out my business vision, plan and goals!

I often hear – “I want a better life!”

Great, what do you do next?

  • According to Lee Iacocca, the former President of Ford Motor Corporation and Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.”

Support your vision, and your business ideas, and make a plan on what you want to bring into your business (and life). Write it down and stay focused on your end goal (your vision) at all times.

  • Don’t have time, or even the mental energy to do this? So…

How do you free up your time and move forward?

Put your business ideas into a strategy, and then into action. When you write a business plan, it is enlightening and brings clarity to your thoughts on paper. And, your written plan is a guide to refer back to, often.

  • You will get your direction and focus on where your business is heading and where you want to go with your business.
  • Based on your plan, you can take small action steps to get clearer, and get focused on what to do next.
  • You will be able to create a business plan that is truly aligned with who you are.
  • You will start to understand how you can make a bigger difference in the world with your gifts.

So what are your business ideas, your business plan?

You really don’t need to feel overwhelmed.

Your strategies will form and the tactics will come from your vision and your plan, as you get clear. Writing out your business ideas, your vision, and your plan to make it happen will help you get clarity..

You will grow and understand where to focus your energy to maximize your results – and learn what you can clear off your plate so you are moving towards your dream business.

The Business Idea Merit Test

A business idea is merely a thought or concept that has not yet materialized. They are a dime a dozen, and almost everyone has conceived a product or service idea. Your idea only has merit if it adds value or solves a problem for the intended consumer without too many limitations or disadvantages. The window of opportunity has to be right by providing something beneficial that is currently not offered by direct and indirect competitors. And you must also be willing to modify it if necessary.

The Purpose of Idea Merit Test

Before your begin developing a business plan for your new idea, conduct a brief idea merit test survey. Describe your business concept on a piece of paper to show to potential consumers, and then ask them to complete a simple one-page survey to determine their interest in the product and gain additional feedback. This can help you determine if your idea has merit, and you can use the feedback to strengthen your original product or service idea.

The Idea Merit Test Questions

After you describe your product of service idea on a sheet of paper, ask 10-15 people in your potential target market to complete a short survey. The survey contains ten questions. The first seven components use an easy-to-use Likert scale as follows:

0 = Non-existent

1 = Minor degree

2 = Moderate degree, but somewhat vague

3 = Moderate degree, but quite clear

4 = Major degree

5 = Extreme degree

To what degree does this business idea:

___ 1. add value or help solve a problem for me?

___ 2. provide immediate benefits to me?

___ 3. provide delayed benefits to me?

___ 4. have limitations?

___ 5. have disadvantages?

___ 6. appear to be alterable or modifiable?

___ 7. offer me something I would consider buying today?

The last three questions allow for feedback to help you improve on the idea:

8. Would you purchase this product?

___ Yes

___ Maybe

___ No

If ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’, how much would you pay? ___________

9. What do you like most about this business idea?

10. If you could make improvements to the idea, what would they be?

Further Information on Each Survey Question

1) Value: People do not purchase products and services. They buy solutions to their problems and things that add value to their lives. So, if they do not see the value in your idea, it will be apparent in the cumulation of your responses.

2) Immediate Benefits: Most people want to realize instant benefits upon a new purchase. People tend to place more value on immediate consequences than on delayed consequences.

3) Delayed Benefits: Some products or services may not provide immediate benefits to the user; however, the value created or problem solved is realized weeks, months, or even further down the line, such as financial investments.

4) Limitations: Limitations are the positive things your product or service cannot perform or that others can do better, and no product or service is without limitations.

5) Disadvantages: Limitations are positive things your product or service is unable to perform. Disadvantages are negative things that occur as a result of using your product or service. Disadvantages do not necessarily kill the idea, however, the benefits must clearly outweigh the costs.

6) Modifications: Based upon the limitations and disadvantages, your respondents may have ideas for modifications. This will become more apparent in question #10.

7) Window of Opportunity: Are people in the right mindset and is this the right timing for your idea now? The ATM machine and its counterpart the ATM card gained popularity in the mid-1990s. What few people know is that the ATM was invented in 1939. However, in 1939, people were simply not ready to allow a machine to handle their money instead of a person. The window of opportunity for this idea was several decades away.

8. Willingness to Buy: This taps more into question #7 by asking them directly if they would buy it or not, and also how much they would be willing to pay. This information is key before developing a business plan.

9: What They Like Most: This simply offers you insight into the best part(s) of your idea. Hopefully, people will leave good comments in this section for you to build upon.

10. Improvements: This provides feedback on what they do not like about the idea or what they would like to see changed. Do not view this as negative feedback. Instead, use their suggestions to make your idea better and stronger.

Summary

Many nascent entrepreneurs believe the first step to launching a new venture is writing the business plan. A business plan is a blueprint for execution. You should not spend any time, energy, or other resources writing the plan until you are sure your idea has merit. A quick and easy idea merit survey is a good tool to use.

Horse Business Ideas That Worked

Are Your Customers Ready For Your Horse Business Ideas?

You may have some fantastic equine business ideas and have written some brilliant horse business plans, but the sad fact is that unless there is a need for you equine product or service in the area you intend to market to then that is all they are… equine business ideas and horse business plans!

Before you start your horse business, there are some important questions to ask yourself about your potential customers.

What type of customer is your business targeted towards? People who have their own horse? People who don’t have their own horse? People who ride for pleasure or serious competitors? People who ride regularly?

You should be able to describe your ideal customer that is interested in your horse product or equine service.

An ideal customer is one that

a) wants your product or services

b) has the finances to be able to pay for your product or services and

c) has the authority to pay for your product.

In identifying the type of customers you want to attract or that your horse business is aimed towards you will be able to plan your equine business and marketing better so that it is suited in that direction.

Ask yourself some questions when figuring out who your ideal customers are:-

  • Who do you think your ideal customer will be?
  • What are the needs or problems of the ideal customer?
  • How will you address those needs/problems?
  • Are your ideal customers businesses or individuals?
  • What will be most important to these customers?
  • What will be unimportant to them?
  • How can you address what is and isn’t important to them?
  • Your business may appeal to a wide variety of horse people but it will profit most from your ideal customer.

What is it that your customers want from your business? Is there a service or product you can supply better in the area or is there another business which can’t meet the local demand?

Do Your Horse Business Ideas Align with Your Personal Goals?

Once you have decided on your ideal business you should also consider that operating your own horse business is likely to have an affect on other aspects of your life.

If you can align your personal goals with your equine business objectives it will help in identifying priorities and prevent distraction from your equine business plans. This is ideal if you love to compete and you plan to have a horse business buying and preparing competition horses for sale and coaching competition riders. But it could be disastrous if you love to go to horse competitions on the weekend and your horse business ideas include running a riding school every weekend.

Writing down both your personal goals and your horse business plans gives you a sense of direction and will help to distinguish what is important to you.

You can test your commitment to achieving your goals and to check if they are right for you by asking some questions:-

  • Is it a goal you want or is it a goal someone else wants for you?
  • Do you know how you are going to set about to achieve this goal?
  • How do these goals fit with where you want to be in twenty years? Will this goal help you get there?
  • Does the goal meet and abide by your values?
  • Is this achievable in the given timeframe?
  • Goals which answer ‘no’ to any of these questions may need to be reconsidered to avoid frustration in the long run.

Short term goals assist in building towards long term goals and all goals should be reviewed regularly to make any changes to correspond with those in your life. For instance, you may plan to compete at a high level on a horse that you have bred. This is a long term goal that can be broken into smaller goals such as

  • Savings plan to purchase the stud fee
  • Preparation for the mare to go to stud
  • Handling of the foal
  • Regular training of the foal
  • As the foal becomes old enough, riding the foal
  • Training for first competition
  • Competition plan for the year
  • Plan for competing at a higher level
  • Plan for team selection
  • And so on
  • The benefits of setting long term goals are greater motivation and higher levels of self-esteem and confidence.

Here are some simple steps to help define and realise your goal.

  1. Write down the goal
  2. Give yourself a timeframe for achieving it
  3. Describe what you need to do to achieve it
  4. List any knowledge or skills that will be required to reach the goal

The preferred method for goal setting strategies is the Map Method

  • Where do you want to be?
  • Where are you now in relation to it?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • Make a map and follow it!
  • The S.W.O.T. analysis can also benefit goal setting strategies, but is less effective than the Map Method.

When you come up with an equine business idea, the main thing is that you can align your personal goals with your horse business plans and that your horse business ideas are making you happy