Can I turn my passion into a business?

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Ok, so you’ve got a brilliant business idea that you want to pursue. That’s awesome news! May we start by saying, “Congratulations on being an innovator.” Now, about being a business owner. There’s a lot to it, and a lot at stake. Be sure to ask yourself: Am I truly passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter? If the answer is yes, well then we’re off to a strong start.

Next up, you need to examine your idea from every angle. Talk to friends, social networks, and anyone you can trust and who will give you valuable, honest feedback. At the end of the day, the million-dollar question is: Will people buy what I’m selling? Test the waters for interest and take time to refocus your energy when needed. The last thing you want to do is become so married to one idea that you can’t look at things objectively. Hopefully brainstorming, surveys, and feedback will help you shape, and reshape your vision into a successful business. Trust us, this crucial period will help you avoid spending tons of time (and money) fixing things later.

If your idea passes the friends-and-family test, start digging deeper with a SWOT analysis to help you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your industry and with your product or service. The deeper you dig, the better off you’ll be. Once you’ve concluded your analysis, you should have a clear understanding of your competition, allowing you to emerge from this stage with three crucial things: your target audience, point of differentiation (what sets you apart from your competition), and pricing category.

Finally, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. If one of the main reasons you wanted to start your own business was so you could spend more time with your family, don’t allow your vision to transform into something that requires more travel, more hours at the office, etc. If your business doesn’t meet those long-term goals, you won’t be any better off than working for the man.

At the end of the day, if you have a good idea and the tenacity to execute it, becoming a business owner may just be the right move for you!