We’ve all had that idea cross our mind, you know the one, the one we believe is unlike anything else out there. The one that is bound to be a success. How has nobody else thought of this, honestly?
Or maybe you’ve had the personal favourite, “I could do this so much better” idea.
So why don’t you?
Below we have outlined 8 steps to move your idea into a reality.
Do Your Homework
So is your idea really the first of its kind or will you have competition? To find out, you need to really do your homework. Google is your best place to start with this. But you could also think about visiting conferences in your industry, talk to experts and search for mentors. Doing your due diligence now will avoid any set-backs down the line.
Define the Difference
Okay so you’ve done your homework, now you need to be crystal clear on exactly how your product is unlike or at least way better than other competitors.
Let’s say your idea is to create a new sort of social media that allows you to create online collections of graphics that others can share. Are you referring to Canva? Pinterest? Instagram? You must distinguish yourself. People may have a “been there, done that” attitude about your idea if it is not properly defined.
Define What Problem or Need your Idea Solves
Think about what problem or need your idea solves. I.e. Will it shorten the time it takes to do something? Does it make people’s lives easier or more exciting? Will it make people feel a certain way? If your product or service doesn’t address a need, problem or want then you might have a hard time finding customers who want to spend money on it.
Use Clear, Strong Words
So you’ve got your brilliant idea, you tell your friend about your brilliant idea but you use words like “well, it’s kinda like this…” Stop. That’s not going to evoke excitement. Choose your words wisely, avoid jargon and speak with confidence.
Focus on a description that can fire the imagination because the reality is, if you can’t get your friend excited about your idea you’re probably not going to get many other people excited about it.
But practising your business pitch with a friend is a great way to get better at this.
Define Your Customer Base
HINT: You can’t say “everyone”. That’s being lazy. Think about who your product or services early adopters might be. Are people likely to choose your idea over something they already spend their time and money on.
Distinguish between people who will be super enthusiastic to try your idea and those who may need to be talked into it.
Determine Your Resource Requirements
Begin to outline what you need to get started. Is this a “I’ll build it in my basement” kind of idea, or does your idea depend on a website? Do you think you can handle everything on your own or will you need to recruit some help from the beginning.
Think about how much money is required to really get things going. Research start-up grants that might be available to you.
This is a process so expect to spend a lot of time researching, checking with suppliers and talking with industry experts at this stage.
Do the Maths
No plan is complete without a rough financial analysis. Try to be as realistic as possible to create a convincing revenue projection and the accompanying costs.
You should be able to detail your estimated break-even point and even future profits. If numbers are not your forte, don’t worry, you can get help at this point either through start-up schemes like Invest NI or Go For It. Or you could pay a financial expert.
Write your Plan
I don’t mean a business plan, I mean your own personal plan to keep you accountable and take your dream all the way to reality. This means you start every morning with a clear plan on everything that needs to be achieved that day. It will keep changing and that’s okay. In fact, it’s important to maintain flexibility in your plan.
When you finally take the leap of faith with your idea, you’ll either bounce, crash or fly. But one thing is for sure, you’ll never find out until you take action.