Turning Your Idea into a Business

Posted: 25th January 2017


By: Sandra Garlick MBE

Thinking about starting a business, or even launching a new product or service within your existing business, should be worthy of more than a fleeting thought, a few notes and launching straight in.  However, for many business owners, this is exactly what happens.

From a light bulb moment, many business ideas are generated and businesses born.  Many are successful but statistics show that most new businesses fail.  This is often caused by lack of business planning, no innovation, poor cash flow management and a host of other issues.

Is it a Business or a Hobby?

This is sometimes a difficult distinction to make in the early days.  If you have a talent, hobby or craft you may already be selling things to friends and family for a nominal amount. You then decide to turn it into a business.  This is where many business owners fail to move out of the hobby mindset.  One frequent issue that arises is accurately costing out the cost of production, overheads and incorporating an element of profit.  For those who sell a service, you need to remember to capture your all your overheads and value your time…you are no longer an employee.  To be running a business, you need to make a profit. If not, it remains a hobby.


So, what should you do with all those new business ideas that pop into your head?  Quite simply, you should capture them, evaluate them, break them down into their component parts, cost them out and then do one of three things:

  1. Move the idea forward into the planning stage;
  2. Park the idea, as it may be useful in the future; or
  3. Assign the idea to the bin!

Business Planning

How often have we heard the saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail”?

Most new businesses start with a business plan of sorts.  This maybe because you have attended a startup workshop or opened a business bank account.  There is a plethora of startup information and tools available on the internet, although none of them will do the work for you.

A business plan is a working document, a road map of where you are going and how to get there. It should be full of your ideas, costings and plans for your business. You should revisit it regularly or you may get lost along the way!

Sandra Garlick, a former business and employment law solicitor, works as a business growth consultant, mentor, trainer and public speaker. Speak to Sandra about Start Up Support and Business Mentoring. She frequently speaks throughout the UK about Start Up and other business growth topics.

Twitter: @SandraGarlick @SGBusConsulting @WomanWhoAwards