Anyone who has ventured into the world of entrepreneurism knows the feeling: how did I not think of that? Many of our best ideas in business are the ones we have yet to dive into. People in business often put off starting work on their great idea because they do not feel prepared or think they lack experience. This can hold back would-be innovators from bringing their concepts into reality.
Everyone wants to be ready before they dive into an idea that they believe to have real potential. However, it’s also true that developing an idea and having it finally put money in your account is something you should start as soon as you can.
Today we’re going to help you understand how to thoroughly and appropriately test the idea you’ve had for some time. We’ll cover four key points on how you can plan and proceed, so keep scrolling to learn more.
It starts with a need
It’s simple enough to say that your product or service should start by addressing a need in your given marketplace. The rub lies in how you understand what a need is among your customer base.
It’s common for entrepreneurs, particularly beginners, to misinterpret need in how they approach a new business or product. There’s a tendency towards extreme innovation, to approaching their concept in a way that is as revolutionary as possible. While this can work, it takes experience and invariably builds risk into your plan. It doesn’t take the next Elon Musk to see your vision succeed.
The key lies in understanding your market to the point where you can really gauge what they want and why they can’t currently fill their need. From that more realistic starting point, you can measure your concept against the demands of the market.
Collaborate and solve
Understanding your customers and that all-important need is your starting point, but it doesn’t mean you have to solve the whole conundrum yourself. Some of the most effective entrepreneurs in the country are simply those who have identified a need and succeeded in gathering together the talent required to address it pragmatically.
Creating a solution in this manner allows you to proceed from the foundation of knowledge you have around your customers and to enter into a stage of socializing with peers and networked professionals in your industry.
Key to this idea is the fact that you likely won’t know what your final concept will be until you meet that all-important new talent. If you are intimately familiar with the needs of your customer base and how much accessibility and affordability ties into a potential solution, you are free to pursue experts and peers who can collaborate with your vision and fill in the gaps with their own expertise.
This takes networking, thorough knowledge of your base position and – most difficult of all for some – the bravery and humility to see your initial vision changed via the input of others. Instead of clinging tightly to your perceived idea of a solution, you can benefit by being open to suggestions that may steer your overall objective in a slightly different direction.
Pick it apart
What many entrepreneurs fail to do is play the devil’s advocate with their favourite concept. Thin skin has sunk many a promising venture, leaving wounded pride and an empty bank account in its wake.
It’s critical at this stage in your ideation that you dig deep into the potential pitfalls and flaws of your concept, be it a service or product. Due diligence truly pays off here – especially if you are collaborating with peers as we discussed in the previous section of this article.
You can break this important subject down into pieces to make it easier for you and your colleagues to handle. Consider key areas of your idea and how it sits in the industry by addressing the service or product itself, the people involved in its creation and consumption and how the market may react to your idea once it becomes a reality. All these points will feed into how you make money as a business.
While intimidating and often discouraging at first, being brave and resilient enough to ask tough questions will only improve your chances of success. You may, for instance, realise that you need to address what corporate finance means for your operation or idea in greater detail.
Present your idea to customers
With due diligence performed and a better idea of your concept before you, you are free to enter a final and critical stage in the creation of your product or service: seeing if your customers actually like it.
It’s important at this stage that you accept that your frame of understanding may be off the mark and that changes may need to be made. What you considered as a unique selling point at first may prove uninteresting to customers. What was a premium product to you may be a needlessly inflated final price tag to a consumer.
An important point to consider here is the quality of the data you obtain. It’s easy to take the cheap route and save as many dollars as you can, but market research doesn’t necessarily come cheap when the quality of that research is high. Even if your research and communication with potential customers at this stage requires sourcing of additional capital and finances, it will pay off in the end. You will gain intimate knowledge about your product or service and how it is likely to be perceived and received.
It’s a long list we’ve gathered today, but we’re confident that all the points described in this article are relevant and useful. The Idea Financial team wishes you the best of luck in your endeavours. If you need our assistance in sourcing additional funding for your next big idea, we’re right here to help.