Steps to starting a business: Part 3 – Planning and taking action

In the previous post of this series, we discussed how the concept of testing your idea to make sure there is demand for it. Now that you know there is, you want to plan a business that will take full advantage of that demand.

Why is this planning important? You wouldn’t start off on a round the world trip by just waking up one morning and walking out the door. Without a destination and a plan to get there, you aint going anywhere.

Creative Commons licence - lemuelinchrist.

Creative Commons licence – lemuelinchrist.

By identifying the problem you are trying to solve, creating a solution and finding your customers, you have set your destination. Now you need to use some strategy to work out the route and develop a plan to get there.

The reason this is important is that successful business isn’t about the idea, it’s about the implementation. Even the best idea isn’t worth anything. The person who can build a business around the idea has something of value.

Successful entrepreneurs, contrary to popular opinion, are not risk takers. They research and plan carefully to make sure their business has the best possible chance of success. Success is never guaranteed, but good planning sure does help!

Thinking through the issues before you launch means you can be more strategic and get an edge over your competitors. It also means you won’t make costly mistakes that are difficult to change once you have launched and can mean the difference between success and failure. Most importantly you will have developed a clear guide for action. The key ingredient in getting a new business off the ground is taking consistent and focused action. Without this, your business will be still-born. So knowing what you need to do and why is crucial.

The mind map below summarises all the questions you will need to answer to plan for a successful launch. (Click on it to see a larger version.) Once you have completed this process, you will have a business plan that will be a map for your startup but more importantly, you will have done the thinking to give your action clarity and direction. So, let the Adventure begin!

Got a question or thought? Join us in the comments …


  1. Chris says:

    Thank you Susan, if not for anything, at least the chart. Its highly helpful and informative.

    You know, most people like me, are done with nearly almost every step listed in that chart, the huge problem is always finding the right developers and initial funding.

    When it gets to the part on the chart where it says “Take Action, Let the adventure begin”, actually that’s where it begins to prove unrealistic/tough. I can say this, because at the moment, that’s where I am. With all plans right, and laid out, finding the right developer and fund becomes a very tough issue. The country I reside – Mauritius, barely have platforms to support start-ups, lack investors, and developers/designers. All these makes start-up seem almost nearly impossible.

    Thanks again, the chart alerted me to a few things I need to get straightened!

    • Hi Chris,
      I know it can be tough if there is not a supportive infrastructure around you. Have you looked into outsourcing IT through a site such as ODesk?

      What else do you think you need in Mauritius to support entrepreneurs like you?

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