1. Pick the right macro & research the reality:
Investigating your market and understanding why customers buy is critical. If you’re addressing a big enough and fast-growing market, you’ll have higher chances of success. I think it’s important to see things from the consumer’s perspective: do you have a typical customer? What buying habits? E.g. What, how much and how often do they buy? What’s currently on offer and why would they choose to switch or buy your product?
2. Plan & get your hands dirty:
You need a business plan and some goals. Get your ideas on paper and KISS your numbers (Keep It Short & Simple). It makes good sense to simply understand how much your business is going to make in its first years. Then you really need to start. I mean not just coming up with a clever strategy but implementing your plan and turning it into a product. With an eye on your cashflow and your milestones, just do whatever it takes, talk to your clients, sell sell sell, get immersed in your business and keep what works. Being on a project mode to constantly improve is a best practice.
3. Focus on people
They will all make a difference, partners, employees, investors… Surround yourself with good people, reward them and be a real person, not just a business person. I think paying attention to relationships and cultivating a culture is a good thing. If you need, try to find a mentor because surely it doesn’t hurt to hear from someone who’s done it all before, right?
4. Persist, persist, persist and protect your ideas
99% of businesses are not based on just inspiration but on perspiration, determination to turn it onto reality. You can be enthusiastic but be careful too that you don’t share details of your plan with potential competitors….
Good luck & Enjoy the journey. I wish you success and happiness for your own personal venture in 2011!