Coming up with great ideas is easy. But in a tough business terrain like we have in Nigeria, it’s putting those ideas into action that’s difficult. In order to turn your dreams about the next best service or product into a tangible, valuable reality, you need to take the right first steps.

Here are a few tips that you help you successfully pull off that idea and turn it into a thriving business:

1. Evaluate the idea

One of the first things you should consider when deciding whether to start a business is identifying whether customers will pay for the product or service.

An idea is just an idea until you have a paying customer attached to it. A simple way to evaluate your idea is to ask for opinion from potential customers. Gauge interest online and in person to determine whether demand for your product or service will be sufficient enough to pursue the idea.

2. Make a business plan

Making a business plan is critical – concept, financials, requirements and strategies should be penned down in detail. While working on getting the business up and running, it is important not to loose focus and pivot away from the plan. Having the plan in front of you will help adhere to the basic groundwork.

3. Do a market research

Doing a thorough market research of your target audience, demography, buying pattern, micro and macro factors that could affect your business goes a long way in getting you sales because you have already tested the viability of your product/ service.

Adapting quickly to the findings of your research/survey one can help you cut loose of unnecessary losses, delays and stalling in the future. But remember you cannot always be right, so be ready for change.

4. Network

It is the most underrated tool when starting up a business. Meeting like-minded people from your industry, entrepreneurs and even entrepreneurs from other fields can help you with the required support, guidance and even ancillary business needs that you may have overlooked.

Go to all relevant networking meet-ups, trade shows in your city, webinars and industry groups, you could find potential customers, vendors and even promoters for your business.

5. Pick a good team to initiate growth

Because you will be operating a startup business, it may be difficult to know who you need to hire and what skills will be best for the job. It is recommended that you employ people who are creative and competitive. These qualities will help your business further develop and grow.

Ask applicants to demonstrate their ability to come up with new and unique solutions for problems. This skill will be especially helpful when you hit hiccups down the road as you embark on your journey with a new small business.

6. Use free resources online to reach out to customers

Using resources online such as free listings, online directories, and social media to showcase your work can help save money and time in gaining your first few customers.

For smaller projects such as product or company photo-shoot, creating, marketing and branding material using different design software, which require specific skills, can be outsourced to relatives and friends initially.