Have you ever come across a new product or service and thought to yourself, “Hey, I had the same idea!” What if, instead of keeping your inspiration to yourself, you had seized the day and turned your idea into a thriving business?

There are many reasons why we don’t act on great ideas. You probably felt overwhelmed by the complexity of starting a business from scratch or were intimidated by the amount of capital you might need to get started.

But times have changed. The fact is, it’s never been easier to set up a company, quickly and with little or no investment. The secret? Optimize, automate and outsource.

Many people believe that starting a company requires years of careful planning and diligent market research. But sometimes it’s best to seize an idea spontaneously and run with it. Below are some useful tips on how to get started.

When you first start a business, you have your work cut out for you. Not only do you have to figure out if you have a viable product that people will actually pay you for, but you have to also find your customers, manage administrative tasks and deal with your staff, if you have one. Get started by building your infrastructure with this important checklist. If you think a start-up can’t launch without sophisticated, expensive infrastructure, think again. A new business can be run easily with software tools that are not only free but also easy to use. Infrastructure can be built with free tools, but services should always be of the highest quality.

Be clever about hiring. Have a plan and look for potential employees with a proactive attitude. What do companies like Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, and Zappos have in common? They hire for attitude and train for skill. It’s a simple mantra, but one that has a profound impact on how to successfully recruit and select new employees.

Hiring for attitude is about building a distinctive workplace culture and company brand that, unlike skill sets, can’t easily be copied in the market. It’s what gives companies like those mentioned above their unique character – and competitive advantage.

Business networking
Every intelligent person involved in business knows to invest in money, but only the wise also invest in relationships. How much time do we spend thinking about, planning for, and executing actions regarding financial investments? We work to balance our assets and liabilities and dream about stock options and retirement, but how often do we invest in our most valuable assets – people? Powerful networks mean powerful position and business opportunities. More and more in today’s business world, leaders prefer to become intermingled in important transactions with people they trust. Relationships establish and fortify that trust. That’s why serious serial entrepreneurs, influencers, deal makers and multiple project players choose to seek out exclusive business networking opportunities.

Use creative problem solving
Dealing with obstacles and challenges is a regular part of working life and overcoming them isn’t always easy. To improve your products, services, communications, and interpersonal skills, and for you and your organization to excel, you need to encourage creative thinking and find innovative solutions that work.

Use the Kaizen method to improve business processes
Kaizen is a Japanese word which translates to mean “continuous improvement.” It’s a “do better every day, with everyone, and everywhere” philosophy. The focus is on small, frequent improvements to existing work processes, generated by all employees at all levels in an organisation – not just managers and executives. When applied, it can improve every function of a business, from marketing to finance to the warehouse. The Kaizen philosophy challenges the statement of “that’s just the way we do things.” Through micro-changes, it strives to eliminate silos, egos, and waste and instead aims for efficient and standardized processes, especially in these areas:

• Quality: products, best practices, and business processes.
• Cost: materials, energy, and resources.
• Delivery: delivery time and non-value-added activities
• Management: training, attitudes, flow, and documentation
• Safety: working conditions

Teach what you’ve learnt

By the time your business is going strong, you will have acquired many skills and a lot of insider knowledge. You’ll then have the opportunity to create a secondary source of income through teaching other entrepreneurs what you’ve learned along the way.

In conclusion…

You don’t need a lot of money to launch a start-up. All you need is the ability to use existing tools to create a solid company structure and the tenacity to search for ways to improve your services.