Before starting your business, the first thing you need to do is pinpoint what your market is and how your idea or product might change your field. There is likely no shortage of great ideas in your field - only a shortage of people brave enough to give them life - so it is imperative that your idea be specific to your market as possible. Ask yourself: How does my idea stand out compared to what exists already and how will my industry benefit from the change it introduces? Then, you need to do a SWOT analysis of your idea. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, a process used to analyze what tools you have that will lead to success and what obstacles stand in your way. For some, it is tempting to focus on either the positive or negative, but failing to take in the whole picture is a recipe for failure. While it is often difficult to honestly face your weaknesses, an audit of the full SWOT picture is necessary to prepare you for the circumstances you will inevitably face as you start your business. When you've done these two exercises, you're ready to start your journey. Just be sure that you're not trying to do it alone. Find a mentor and build a team of supporters who can fill in the blanks where your skills might be lacking (such as finance/accounting or marketing, for example).