How do I capitalize on a business idea when I have little money as a startup?
I have an idea for a restaurant. I put together a business plan and presentation while completing my MBA. I do not have professional experience managing a restaurant nor do I have more than $10,000 to $15,000 to invest. I believe my concept would franchise to more than 20 locations within two years and just explode from there. I would like to build a network of partners who specialize in pertinent areas. What should be my next steps?
First off, I would go and get a job in a restaurant to learn more about the business, preferably in a franchised restaurant environment. The reason for this is that the odds of you getting financial backing with no industry experience are slim, and if you hire a restaurant expert and a franchise expert to replace that knowledge, there will be very little, if anything, left for you to own.
Also, I would go the International Franchise Association’s annual convention and talk with companies that run franchise restaurant concepts. You will get better insight as to the realities of the marketplace, and you may come to understand a new set of numbers that will either propel the idea further or cause you to re-evaluate your original plan.
Creating a MAP will take no more than an hour of your time every month and will keep the lines of communication open, ensuring relationships with investors remain strong, and ultimately helping early-stage startups succeed.