From Idea to Business

It only takes 1 idea to start a business. But how do you find out if that idea is worth starting a business? All entrepreneurial minds out there have been in this situation; You walk down the shopping street and think “Wow this empty store would be great for X business” or “Would be great if there was an app for the problem I am having, how hard would it be to make one”. From that moment onwards, the dreams of an international empire start flowing. So let’s check if this is a business or a utopia.

How do you know your idea is a good one?

Start by jotting everything on paper. What is the problem you want to solve? Who will be your customers? What is your product you want to sell? Take a look at our business canvas, which will help you to guide these thoughts onto paper.

Download here: Business model canvas


Next you will analyse if there is a market for your idea, the so called ‘market research’. Are there others trying to solve you problem? Why aren’t others trying to solve this problem yet? And If others are solving this problem already, what will you do different from them?

Go deeper in the research of your competitors, who are they? And what are your USPs (Unique Selling Points). Must you be the first to ever sell your product? No! But you must be different enough to attract customers. Blackberry was the first to invent the smartphone, Apple made them attractive. So being first was not the key here.

If you think you don’t have any competitors, think again! Let’s say you are the first person who invents a car. You are the first, so there is no competition? Your competitors are: Trains, busses, bicycles, scooters, boats, etc. For your product look at the first, second, third, … fiftieth circle of competitors and see how you differentiate, because consumers and potential customers will do the same.

Will it pay the bills?

So you have established your idea and target group, you have decided on your USPs, you know who your competitors are, so ready to start right? No, now you must find out the financial viability of your business. Make an estimate on how much you will sell and how much this would cost. Now deduct 30% of the revenue, delay this by 3 months and add 25% of the cost from day 1. Now we are closer to reality. Almost every entrepreneur thinks they will earn more and spend less than they actually do, so no shame to admit this.

Now enter these estimates into a cash flow plan. The difference between a financial plan and a cashflow plan is: A financial plan says: “My revenue over the full year will be 80 000 EUR, and my cost over the full year will be 40 000 EUR.” You would say this business is very healthy. But the costs could be in February, and the revenue might only come in June, which wouldn’t be good.

A cash flow plan shows: “In January I will earn 10 000 EUR, and have 5 000 EUR in cost, in February I will earn 15 000 EUR and have 20 000 EUR in costs, …” This clearly states you have enough money at a given time to pay the bills.

Of course nobody can predict the future (If you can, call us! We can become rich together!) But as long as your numbers are well thought through and founded by realistic thinking, this will be enough. If you write in your plan that you would produce and sell 2000 loafs of bread, all by yourself without any help, 5 days a week, that wouldn’t be realistic.

Business Plan

Now that you have scribbled down all of this on a bunch of napkins or the back of a take-away menu, you must organise it in a Business Plan. Which is just a structured document where all of the questions and thought from above come back. A business plan can have several purposes. It can be a guide just for you on how to run your business in the future, you can use it to raise fund (bank or investors) or to prove to other stakeholders your idea is valid.

Download a business plan template here:

Business Plan

Financial Plan

Do you require some more guidance in all of this? Feel free to schedule a meeting with our team, and we will be happy to help.