There are probably many of you reading this that have come up with a fantastic idea that you know has the potential to make millions of dollars.

It is probably also true then that many of you have then seen that idea pop up elsewhere months later, either online or in a bricks and mortar store. It is easy to say that someone “stole your idea” but the truth of the matter is that ideas are worthless until they’re brought to life and executed.

It is an easy statement to make, but a hard road to walk down. Building a business is not for the faint-hearted, however if you are serious about turning your idea into a reality, and perhaps even building an empire, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are continually executing on achieving that dream.

Is the idea you have the right idea?

It should keep you up at night and you should be energised purely from the possibilities that building it may bring. Someone with the right idea for them will have no issues in doing research into the industry, identifying potential competitors, and testing whether the market is receptive to their product and service.

If it feels like work, then it is the wrong idea.

Research is king.

If you do not know your industry inside and out you are never going to be the market leader. You need to be across who your competitors are, their strategies, and how they market their product. Collecting as much information and data on your industry as you possibly can means that you can put together a business plan that will address concerns related to competitors in the market that investors and other stakeholders will inevitably raise with you.

Shake Hands.

Networking is so important, no matter what type of business you want to create. After all, how can you expect to be an industry leader if you first do not make yourself known to the industry?

Networking will allow you to meet new business partners, customers, mentors, investors, and competitors. Before you launch your idea yourself, you can gauge from these people with more “has been there done that” experience exactly what it is going to take to get your idea off the ground. LinkedIn is also a tool that allows you to reach out to the right people in the right industry, regardless of your geographical location. Build your LinkedIn profile to clearly reflect your professional and company goals and start connecting.

Give yourself a deadline.

Without deadlines, tasks are not completed. In the case of turning an idea into a business reality, if you do not set yourself goals and dates to achieve them by, history shows that it most likely will not end up happening.

When setting timeframes, make sure to keep them realistic and achievable. To keep yourself on track you can even start selling products or services in advance by way of pre-orders or an online mailing list - this adds a bit of healthy pressure to you as a founder of a business to make sure you do exactly what you are saying you want to do.

Remember, ideas mean nothing - execution means everything. The rules of business building could not be more simple.