Assess your Business Concept
It is important to perform an evaluation of your business concept at the very beginning, to enable you identify and address any significant difficulties prior to spending your time in preparing your business plan. At this stage you will discover the key success factors while obtaining the necessary detailed information in order to put together your business plan.
This is the phase where you should start drilling down to the specifics of your business idea and perform a secondary market research by gathering and assessing public available information such as industry statistics from (CYSTAT and EUROSTAT). Additionally you may perform a primary market research by conducting directly stakeholders of all kinds about your business idea which can enable you to differentiate you products or services and penetrate a niche market.
A preliminary financial analysis can be frustrating at this stage as you have to make assumptions for most of the figures. Even though, you have to consider for which of those assumptions you should obtain more information and focus on the most critical issues and variables that will have a material financial influence on your business.
Apart from the above, you should identify the procedures that must be performed in order to establish the business up to the point that will be operational. Such procedures might include obtaining external finance, this it is crucial to recognise your total start-up costs. A wrong estimation can have a direct impact on the going concern status of the business due cashflow deficiencies. To make matters even more complicated, the business might need additional finance support in case there is a possibility to expand in multiple fields that have to be navigated simultaneously.
Once you have completed successfully the assessment of your business concept you will be assured whether that your business idea is concrete. This definitely does not imply that the business will be successful as there are too many operational risks associated with the development of a new business.