In this century, starting your own business is the dream of many aspiring entrepreneurs. Thanks to the rise in ecommerce and mobile technology, starting your own business may also be easier than ever before. Here are four steps to turning your great business idea into a profitable business.

Find a problem to solve

The best way to get a business up and running is to find a product or service that people genuinely need. On the other hand, you have to be careful about ideas that stray too far from existing products or services. It is far harder to convince someone that they need a brand new thing than it is to convince them they just need a better version of something they are already familiar with.

Research your market carefully and develop a solid brand strategy

Unfortunately, in the world of business, just having a great product is not enough. Just because a consumer sees value in a product or service does not always mean they will buy it. Good market research should also include determining exactly who your market is (and who it is not) and building a solid brand strategy geared towards reaching your specific target market.

Start small

Perhaps one of the hardest ideas for entrepreneurs to let go of is the idea of an overnight success. There just really is no such thing. Phil Knight started Nike by selling shoes out of the trunk of his car at track meets and Steve Jobs famously founded Apple out of his parent’s garage.

Fail forward

There is an often quoted statistic about how 8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months but the truth is that roughly 1/3 of all new businesses will fail in the first two years and approximately half will fail in the first 5 years. What these statistics do not take into account, however, are the number of entrepreneurs who take an early failure and turn it into stellar success somewhere further down the road. Not every business is going to go the distance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your mistakes and turn your second, third or fourth venture into the next Fortune 500 company.