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How to launch your dream business in 2025

vector of man launching rocketship from his hand

2025 will be here before you know it. And if you’re thinking about launching a new business in the new year, now is a great time to get started. From brainstorming your big idea to conducting market research, there’s a lot you need to accomplish before you launch your new business. And we have five steps to get you started.

Step 1: Develop your idea

Great businesses start with great ideas. Think about what you’re passionate about and how you can turn that passion into something that solves a problem or fulfills a need. Whatever you come up with, make sure your idea has a unique selling proposition that sets it apart from the competition.

Step 2: Craft a business plan

Every business needs a solid business plan. And don’t worry if it’s not perfect from the start; you’ll want to adjust it on a regular basis once you get going. A good business plan outlines your goals, strategies and financial projections, and it should include the following:

  • Market analysis. You’ll need to have a good understanding of the industry you’re breaking into, your target audience (e.g., demographics, behaviors, interests, locations) and your competitors in the marketplace.

  • Marketing strategy. It’s important to know how you’ll attract and retain customers. Consider a website, the proper social channels and whether digital or traditional marketing will reach your target audience.

  • Operational plan What will day-to-day operations look like? How many staff will you need and what vendors or suppliers will you work with? These are important things to consider to keep your business solvent and running smoothly.

Step 3: Conduct market research

Market research is the backbone of your business strategy. It provides insight into your industry; helps you identify your competitors; uncovers the needs, preferences and pain points of your target audience; and allows you to make data-driven decisions to avoid costly mistakes. You can gather research and increase your chances of success through:

  • Surveys. Use online survey tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to gather data on customer preferences, buying habits and opinions.

  • Interviews. Conduct interviews to obtain personal perspectives from potential customers or industry experts. This will help you find common themes among your target market and give you unique insights into buyer behavior.

  • Focus groups. Facilitate group discussions to understand how different people perceive your product or service. Ensure you have a moderator to guide the conversation with a diverse group and a list of predetermined questions.

  • Industry reports and government publications. Look to sources like IBISWorld or Statista for industry trends and forecasts. And use data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or Census Bureau for deeper insights.

Step 4: Define your target customer

The success of your business is based on knowing your audience. Create thorough customer personas by segmenting your market based on:

  • Demographics, which include age, gender, income, education and occupation.

  • Psychographics, including lifestyle, values, interests and attitudes.

  • Geographics, which include location, urban or rural areas, and climates.

  • Behaviors, including buying patterns, brand loyalties and usage rate.

Step 5: Leverage SCORE’s free resources

SCORE (score.org) is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners. They provide free mentoring so you can get one-on-one guidance from experienced business owners. You’ll find workshops and webinars on a variety of topics, including business planning, marketing and finance. SCORE also provides templates and worksheets for business plans, finance tracking, marketing and management. You can even connect with a local SCORE chapter for community-specific advice and networking opportunities.

Work with an advisor

Starting a new business is an exciting adventure full of opportunities and challenges. You’ll want to work with a trusted advisor to ensure you get started on the right foot, from entity selection to accounting system setup and beyond. And use the resources available to you. With the right product, a solid business plan and a little (or lot of) tenacity, your new business is sure to be a success. 

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