“Necessity is the mother of invention,” so the saying goes. But if it had a father, it very well might be smart business planning. Many Fort Collins residents are nursing creative ideas, and some are taking steps to bring those innovations to fruit. Some will succeed, and some will fail. While it’s impossible to reliably predict which new business concept will blossom or bomb, there are some key strategies that business formation and planning experts often recommend to assure that your brilliant idea doesn’t fall into the scrap pile.

Tamara Monosoff, award-winning inventor and author of “The Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing,” offers advice to new inventors that could apply to anyone contemplating a new business venture. Monosoff has ten years of experience in helping people transform the spark of an initial idea into lucrative, innovative products. She advises that this is a fantastic time to start a business: The economy is improving, and many new resources, markets, distribution channels and funding strategies are emerging.

Her first advice is to treat your idea as a business from the get-go, and to plan it accordingly, using careful analysis of costs, market, competition and profit margin before investing money or time into a new business idea. She also advises doing careful market research before developing a business, which includes talking to individuals in your target audience, taking surveys, or arranging focus groups. She adds that maintaining a sense of detachment about the idea is also critical until we have tested the waters.

Many new product ideas, Monosoff notes, are overly complicated, or include too many features. These extra costs may not be appreciated by the consumer. Whether or not to patent is another question: It may be helpful, but it is expensive and not always required. However, some type of prototype or visual representation is important to present to consumers and investors, and will help work out design and planning kinks.

Crowd-funding and microloans now provide new options that place business formation well within everyone’s grasp. A Fort Collins business and commercial law attorney can provide help as well with understanding the legal issues in all stages of business planning. And last, be sure to celebrate every small success along the way! While setbacks are valuable learning experiences as well, the right support and guidance can help minimize them.

Source: Forbes, “Turn Your Great Idea Into The Next Big Thing” Tamara Monosoff, Mar. 25, 2014