Not until you have a clear business concept.
What is a business concept?
It is an idea for a business. It can be an idea for an entirely new product or service of a startup business or it can be an improvement or expansion of an existing business. Whatever your business concept is, it should include fundamental information about the new business. Without these information, you and others cannot expect to have a clear grasp of what your business is all about.
Fundamental information in your business concept
There are a lot of information that can be included in a business concept and many ways (such as templates) of presenting these. But the fewer and simpler these are, the better especially for a startup. What you need are essential information that contribute to the clarity and point to the viability of your new business.
In generating those information, you may consider the following guide topics:
- Needs to be satisfied/Problems to be solved
- Proposed solution
- Target customers
- Current options
- Unique value offering
- Market access
- Major action steps
- Vital assets needed
- Important partners
- Sources of revenue
- Cost and expense items
- Viability metrics
To make it easier for startup entrepreneurs, I have designed a short form consolidating fundamental information for a business concept.
Under each topic above, I have come up with questions the answers to which will provide you with the essential information.
Aside from these questions, I have given a corresponding weighted percentage to each of these topics. These percentages gauge the respective importance of the topic to the viability of your business concept.
I call this single-sheet form as the Pre-Startup Business Concept Weighted Clarity Test. Go ahead – test your business concept. Rate yourself also on how convinced you are about the truthfulness and clarity of your answers. The maximum rating for each topic is the percentage indicated. Download the free test now.
Do you still need a written business plan?
If you are satisfied with the clarity and truthfulness of your answers, you can actually start approaching some potential customers, partners, and investors/funders about your business concept. Ask for their comments and feedback. Encourage them to ask questions so you can test how clear and viable your business concept is. You can also ask them for suggestions to improve it.
Now, if you believe you already have a viable business concept on hand, you may proceed with creating a minimum viable product or service offering, establish market/product fit, and develop a repeatable customer acquisition process. You seem to be ready to turn the concept into a business reality.
You don’t have the details yet – the facts and figures – about your target market, your product or service, your finances. You have not outlined yet a detailed plan how you will go about your marketing and sales, production, and operations. Who will do what, when, and where? You have not come up with milestones to measure your progress and metrics against which to measure your performance.
You must have a written business plan to constantly guide you in your journey – from business concept to business success. The shorter the business plan the better and it should be dynamic to reflect changes in the business environment and current realities.
With a clear and feasible business concept and a dynamic business plan on hand, go ahead and start that business.