Some people are blessed with dozens of great ideas that seem to flow in a constant stream. Others have perhaps a handful a year. If they don’t write them down or do anything about them, however, those ideas stay exactly that: ideas. But why let that happen? Why not actually do something about your fantastic business idea and make it a reality ?
If you’ve made the decision to act upon your dream but aren’t sure where to start, the following tips can be a useful guide:
One mistake that people often make is to assume great ideas are overwhelming right from the start. They think, “Oh, I could never do that. I don’t have the (insert blank here) to pull that off.” Their idea then dies an ignominious death, never having even seen the proverbial paper napkin . People forget, however, that if you have the attitude of creating small bite-sized pieces, then the process becomes instantly much more palatable. And that leads to the second step.
Write It Down
Seriously. That paper napkin is a cliché for a reason – people have written great ideas down on whatever was at hand for all of human history. If you don’t get the idea out of your head and onto paper, e-device, the internet, or even into your friends’ heads, no one is going to know about it, and it will never help anyone, least of all yourself.
Flesh It Out
Once you’ve gotten the idea down, you can begin to really think about it constructively. Ask yourself questions: what problem am I trying to solve, and for which kind of people ? Where can I find the people I want to show this (product or service) and how can I get them to recognize that my solution meets their needs? These kinds of questions are the first step in fleshing out your idea and making certain it’s truly viable and that you’re aware of what might be involved to make it happen.
Gather the People
After clarifying your goals and ideas, it will be time to gather a small team of people who are willing to get on board with you and make your solution a reality. Don’t worry about a big team or attracting top talent just yet – you are looking for people who are on the same wavelength and are willing to contribute some necessary skills to the cause. Some great places to look are professional social networks such as Shapr and LinkedIn, and if you have a tech-based product, consider making your project open source and posting it on sites like GitHub or GitLab. Whatever type of solution you have, there will be people interested in it somewhere, and this step is about finding them.
Find Your Funding
You’ve fleshed out your idea and found your initial team, but now you need money to pay for everything. Fortunately, there are many resources on the web that teach how to calculate business startup costs , so that when you find a team of investors you know exactly how much money to request. And the good news is that the internet also makes it easier to connect small business startups with investors who are willing to take a chance on a great idea. After all, that’s how TV shows like Shark Tank came about!
Get to Work
This is probably the part that takes the most commitment: developing your product, service or idea. The work phase involves time, effort and usually a lot of sweat. But don’t despair: methods like Lean UX can help you take control of development and get your solution to your target people quickly and with little wasted investment. You can focus afterwards on improving it using customer feedback in order to ensure you have the best product or service possible.
And now you’re done: it’s time to show the world your solution! If you’ve followed these steps, built a great team and product, sought solid advice and advanced carefully, you have an excellent chance of success. And who knows? Perhaps your dream that began as ‘just an idea’ might someday change the world.