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Entrepreneur's Page

So you've had this really good business idea for quite a while, but you've never really had the chance to do anything with it? Could this be your opportunity to create your own company and finally commercialize your product? Maybe! But where on earth do you start?

Here's where a little help from the experts might come in handy. One of the first things they emphasize is that you should do what you love. Starting your own business is going to be a long, tough slog, so you'll want to be doing something you truly enjoy!

Assuming you love what you'll be doing, the next big challenge is to perform some relevant research. Remember that much of your early work will rely on convincing people to do things - to give you money, to work for you, to sell you raw materials, and to help promote your products, to name a few. The more you know about the area you're getting into, the better job you'll be able to do convincing others to join you!

After you start accumulating some useful research results, it might be time to start writing a business plan. At right is a sample outline to help get you started. Your business plan doesn't need to be extremely long - just a few pages - but it should serve to help focus your thoughts on what you'll really need to do to get this product or business off the ground. And writing a business plan is a good way to anticipate all of the costs and work and responsibilities which your business is going to require. Sometimes, just the exercise of writing a business plan can help an entrepreneur realize that there are even bigger opportunities available than he or she initially thought!

As you're writing your business plan, you'll soon encounter another important choice - you'll need to decide whether to finance the business all by yourself or whether you'll want to bring in some other investors. If you can fund the entire project yourself, great! As long as you also have the wisdom and maturity to make good decisions without the help of other people who also have "skin in the game," you might be able to go it alone. Or if you know anyone who's willing to help you even though they're not directly invested in your business, so much the better. Even if you have enough personal capital to make it work, of course, it's still wise to keep one or two potential investors ready in the background in case you run into unforseen opportunities or problems.

Otherwise, 'other investors' can be as simple as borrowing a few thousand dollars from a relative or as complex as borrowing tens of millions of dollars from a syndicate of venture capitalists. What each of these sources have in common, though, is that you'll be responsible for other people's money, and you'll be expected to involve them in decisions which affect how their investments are utilized. On the plus side, of course, in addition to getting enough capital up front to get started, the right investors can also act as mentors who can help steer your new business toward success!

You'll ultimately think of many more questions and challenges which are involved in starting a new business. Write them down, put them in your business plan, and track them. You'll be surprised how quickly your 'brief' business plan turns into a detailed summary of how your business operates! Try to preserve just enough detail so that you don't forget important features, but not so much that you start getting lost in the details.

Eventually, in order to pitch your business to potential investors, you'll want to create a presentation that pulls out the relevant information from your business plan to support your idea and confirm the viability of your plan. This can be a challenge, but there are a lot of resources at your disposal for accomplishing this. And if you run into trouble, or find this too daunting of a task, remember that you can always call in a professional to help!

If you're an entrepreneur with an idea for a product or service targeting the life sciences, please give us a call to find out how Amethyst might be able to help!

Outline of a Business Plan

  • Introduction
    • Business Concept
    • Mission Statement
  • Products & Services
    • What is Your Product?
    • What is It's Value?
    • Intellectual Property
    • Uniqueness
  • Market Analysis
    • Target and Size of Market
    • Competitors
    • What is Your Niche
  • Marketing Strategies
    • Market Entry
    • Sales and Pricing
    • Promotion
  • Management Team
    • Officers
    • Advisors
    • Professionals
  • Facilities
    • Building Requirements
    • Location
    • Availability / Cost
  • Finances
    • Starting Investment
    • Estimated Income & Expenses
    • Loans Available
    • Investors Exit (Profit)
  • Timelines
    • Research & Development
    • Production
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Time to Profitability