How to Develop a Successful Business Idea

IL business attorney, Illinois business lawyerMost of us, at some point or another, have had those fleeting thoughts about a product or service that could serve as the foundation for a new business. On the other hand, maybe you have watched another company offer goods and services while knowing that you could do it better. So how does one go from the “idea” phase to the “action” phase of starting the actual business based on the idea? There are, of course, many steps, but the first important one is to determine whether or not the idea is truly marketable.

What Is Your Idea?

Not every business idea is going to grow into the next Microsoft or Google, and that is okay. A successful service or product is not necessarily going to break records or reshape the world as we know it. In order to be profitable, your idea simply needs to solve some type of problem for those you intend to reach.

With that in mind, you need to think about what your idea actually is. Is it a physical item that you intend to manufacture and sell? Is it an improvement on an existing product? Or perhaps, it is a service that you expect to provide for your clients in exchange for payment. No matter what you have in mind, a clear understanding of the idea is critical.

Learn as Much as You Can

Before you launch your business, you will need to research the viability of your idea and how it might fit into the current economic landscape. For some people, industry reports and formal market research studies are appropriate, but it is important to look at more than numbers. You should also talk extensively with friends, family members, and trusted business associates regarding your idea. Be sure to look beyond the friendly and supportive comments and to hear what they are saying about whether they would spend money on your idea. If you want a forum with fewer personal entanglements, there are thousands of message boards and other resources available online where entrepreneurs from all over the world discuss ideas and share their perspectives.

Keep Yourself Organized

By its very nature, an idea is nebulous, and even if you have jotted down a few notes, there are many factors that you will need to consider as you take your idea from a concept to a business plan. As early as you can in the planning process, starting writing things down. Make a list of potential advantages and disadvantages, and keep track of any challenges or opportunities that arise along the way. These records will serve as the basis of your business plan, even if you need to put the idea on hold for a time and you decide to come back to it later.

Work With a Wheaton Business Lawyer

If you have a possible idea for a new business, it is never too early to speak with an experienced DuPage County business law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Our team will provide the guidance you need and help you build your new venture from the ground up. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225513

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2019/10/30/nine-ways-to-figure-out-if-you-have-a-winning-business-idea/

Should I Franchise My Illinois Business?

Illinois business lawyer, IL business attorneyIf your business is growing more and more successful by the day, you may be thinking about franchising. The benefits of franchising your business can be enormous, but franchising before you are ready can be disastrous. It can be hard to know whether now is the right time to expand your business. As with any business-related decision, the decision to franchise should not be taken lightly. You will need to take an honest look at your business’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own ambitions and personal goals before you can know whether franchising is right for you.

Is Your Business Replicable?

Franchising can be a great way to expand your company without needing a large capital investment. However, not just any business is able to be successfully franchised. Is your business unique enough to be marketable?  Do you have a sustainable competitive advantage? Even more importantly, how replicable is your business? If the success your business has enjoyed so far is the result of a smart business model and unique, in-demand products and services, you may be able to replicate this success in a second location. However, if the business’s success is the result of its current location or your own dedication to 15-hour workdays, you may not be able to duplicate the success in a franchise location. Keep in mind, a franchise location must be lucrative enough to pay royalties and still leave the franchisee with a decent profit.

How Involved Are You in Day-to-Day Operations?

Another key question to ask yourself when considering franchising is what you want your own role to be in your business. If you are the type of business owner who likes to personally open and close shop every day, how willing are you to take a step back from daily operations in favor of a management position? Being a franchisor will involve a great deal of time and energy. There may simply not be enough time in the day for you to continue having a high level of day-to-day involvement in the original location while also managing franchise locations. On the other hand, if you have a staff with the leadership skills and business knowhow to run things in your absence, you may have the freedom to take on the responsibilities of being a franchisor.

Contact an Illinois Business Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, each of our skilled Wheaton business law attorneys have more than 40 years of legal experience. Whether you need help with franchising your business, buying or selling a business, creating an effective employee contract, or other business law needs, we will provide legal guidance you can depend upon. Call our office today at 630-665-2500 today and schedule a confidential consultation to learn how we can assist you.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/71886
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbeagelman/2019/03/28/how-and-when-to-franchise-your-business/

How Business Owners Can Motivate Employees Without Breaking the Bank

employees, Wheaton business law attorneysAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably do not have unlimited money to do the things you would like to do. After paying your bills, honoring your contracts with suppliers, and covering payroll, you might not have a whole lot left at the end of each month. This is especially true of companies in their fledgling stages. Without extra money, you may find it difficult to think of ways to motivate your staff and to keep your employees working hard. While it is true that workers appreciate financial incentives like bonuses or gift cards, you may be surprised to learn that there are other effective strategies for motivating your staff that cost far less than you might expect.

Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss

Have you have ever been to a restaurant that was obviously short-staffed? It might have been obvious by the frazzled look on your server’s face, not to mention longer-than-usual wait times and other indications. Can you remember what you saw the manager or owner doing? If he or she was cleaning off tables, carrying trays, or mopping up spills in the bathroom, there is a good chance you were seeing a solid leader, not merely the boss. A “boss” might have been content to give directions and tell others how to handle the problem while the “leader” was not afraid to get dirty and help.

The same idea could be applied to your business, and the way in which you lead matters. When you treat your staff as if they are stupid and replaceable, you will probably see that type of work from them. If you assume that your employees are intelligent, focused, and capable of doing their jobs—to the point where you are willing to dig in alongside them and help out—your attitude is likely to spread. Productivity will probably increase, as well.

Maintain a Positive Environment

Your full-time employees may spend almost as many waking hours at work as they do in their own homes. Most people would not choose work over home, but that is no reason to maintain an atmosphere of tension and unreasonable expectations. Allow and encourage your team to bring things in to make their workspace comfortable and “theirs.” Talk with your employees, and truly listen to their concerns, needs, and accomplishments. If a staff member makes an error, do not be too critical—especially if the mistake was a result of your employee trying to help the business. You should obviously correct the mistake, but avoid berating or embarrassing the person. Chance are good that he or she feels bad enough already.

Remember That Employees Are People Too

Work should certainly be your staff’s top priority while they are on the clock, but some jobs are simply tedious. Give your employees the opportunity to think of new ideas for how to their jobs better. If the ideas have merit, try them, and see what happens. Those who are closest to the task often have valuable insight on improving productivity.

You should also be sure that your employees have sufficient breaks throughout the workday. Nobody should be expected to go hard for many hours at a time without a chance to relax for a few minutes. A short break every couple of hours allows your staff the chance to check in with their families, have casual conversations, and simply feel human for a little bit before getting back to work.

Seek Qualified Help from a Wheaton Small Business Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we offer trusted advice and skilled representation to business owners in a wide range of business matters. If you have additional questions about keeping your staff motivated, addressing issues with your staff, or any related concerns, contact an experienced DuPage County business law attorney. Call 630-665-2500 for consultation at our law firm today.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/08/21/37-ways-to-keep-your-employees-motivated-from-a-37-year-old-entrepreneur/

https://www.inc.com/bubba-page/7-motivations-at-work-beyond-money.html