Top 5 Tools for Ideation Stage Businesses
Helpful Tools for Makers, Service Providers and Food Creators
When you are first growing the idea of your business, it’s important to start with quality information and helpful guides. These five tools will help you communicate your business idea to others so you can get the feedback you need to reach the next level.
Write a Business Plan
You have likely been told that you need a business plan. A business plan is a great way to get the ideas in your head on paper so you can communicate them to others. You may find a business plan helpful in planning your strategy and approach, thinking through the different elements of what’s needed to create a successful business or building your support through business loans, partnerships and selecting a team.
Tool 1: Lean Business Canvas Template — Word Doc Download
This template is a great first step and is a simplified business plan (one page only). You can learn more about lean business canvases and see examples by searching “How do I create a lean business canvas?” on our Resources page. We recommend starting here and sharing it to get feedback before determining if you need a more detailed business plan.
Tool 2: Alberta Women Entrepreneurs — Business Plan & Guide — PDF Download
This tool walks you through each part of a business plan and provides tips about what to include and how to put yourself in the shoes of a potential investor or lender who is considering supporting your business.
Tool 3: Interactive Business Plan Writer by Futurpreneur
This tool is a direct interactive template. Fill it in at your own pace and benefit from a simplified approach where you can drag and drop in the sections that you want to include. Receive tips and insights about sections that are confusing.
Tool 4: How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Your Small Business by thebalancesmb.com
As you build out your business idea it’s a good idea to consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T.) related to your business idea. Doing so allows you to go in with eyes wide open and hopefully anticipate some of the challenges so you can take preventative measures. Complete a S.W.O.T Analysis and share it with others for feedback to get their insights about areas you might not have considered.
Tool 5: How to Get Great Customer Feedback About Your Business Idea — PDF Download
One of the most common mistakes that new businesses make is building an idea and spending lots of money on it before finding out if the market wants it. Don’t get caught in this trap. Instead, use this tool to get customer/client feedback early on about your service or product to find out the true need of your audience and how you can best meet that need.
Want to learn more?
Check out our Resources Page for Ideation phase companies.