Working with entrepreneurs, I get to hear A LOT of great business ideas. What I also hear frequently from each of those entrepreneurs is that they don’t know how to turn that great business idea into reality.
Sometimes, it’s a lack of industry knowledge or experience that holds them back.
Sometimes, it’s a perceived lack of time or money necessary to bring a product to market.
But rarely is it a lack of passion or desire.
If you have an idea that’s burning a hole in your brain, keep reading. This post will walk you through five steps that will help you take your great idea and turn it into a reality!
#1 Do some basic market researchWhat seemed like a great idea at 3 am may not look quite as good in the light of day! #MarketResearchClick To Tweet One way to isolate a truly great idea is to do some basic market research. This will help you determine if your idea is actually “doable”.
Start by figuring out if other, similar products or services already exist. If not, could it be there isn’t a need for it? Or is it just that no one has thought of it yet?
If something similar does exist, what differentiates your product? What would your unique value proposition be (UVP)? Are there are any trademarks, patents or copyrights that might limit your ability to move forward?
You may also want to consider doing some market validation. This is simply the process of confirming that there’s actually a need for what you’re offering. Some ways you can do this include:
- Surveying your customers to see if they would buy it
- Pre-sell before you’ve invested in the development of your product
- Run some AdWords or Facebook ad campaigns to see if there’s interest (be sure to collect emails from those who do click on your ad)
#2 Take stock of your resources
If you’ve determined that your product or service is likely to be viable, it’s time to take stock of what you can realistically invest in your idea – not just in terms of money, but also time and energy.
For instance, if you’re already working full-time for someone else, when will you be able to work on your idea? I’m not saying this makes it impossible, but you will need to earmark time for this purpose (even if it’s from 11-2 am every night!).
In terms of money, do you have the funds necessary to develop and market your product? If not, what sources of funding do you have access to? Friends or family? Line of credit? Business loan?
#3 Document your game plan
It’s been said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. In other words, if you don’t have specific goals laid out, your idea will be unlikely to ever materialize.A goal without a plan is just a wish!Click To Tweet
Be sure to set specific, realistic goals so you don’t get overwhelmed. Instead of saying, “I’ll have my product ready to launch on Sept. 15”, set smaller goals leading up to that date.
For instance, if your plan is to launch an eBook, you might set goals like:
- Have a tentative table of contents done by Aug. 5
- Have a rough draft done by Aug. 15
- Have a final copy done by Sept. 1
- Have a landing page completed by Sept. 10
- Launch eBook on Sept. 15
One tool I recommend that can keep you inspired as you work toward your goals is a vision board. Using a large piece of cardboard – or even a vision board app – display images or text that will help you clarify or keep your focus on your goal.Use a vision board to help you clarify and keep your focus on your goal. #InspireClick To Tweet
Want to try it out yourself? Check out my post Vision Board: What Is It And How Does It Work?
#4 Assemble a support team
When you first start taking action on your ideas, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or to lose motivation. Having a team of advisers can help keep you accountable and on track.
Your team can also provide guidance when it comes to specific questions or issues related to your plan.
In her Entrepreneur article, 3 Steps For Assembling a Startup Dream Team, Katherine Duncan recommends having five specific types of advisers:
- A market/domain expert
- A connector (someone who can make introductions in the industry)
- An industry celebrity (someone who will lend their name to add credibility)
- A personal coach
- A technical expert
While you may not need a person to fill each of these roles, it’s a great idea to have a good mix of both industry experts and those who will help you feel supported on a personal level.
#5 Just do it!
There’s no perfect time to launch a product or service. Many entrepreneurs I work with get hung up on having everything “just right” before they launch…and while I commend them for wanting to have the best product or service possible, perfection is simply an unattainable goal!There’s no perfect time to launch a product or service.Click To Tweet
If you have a great product or service, have established there’s a need for it, and your team of advisers has given you the green light, jump in with both feet.
You’re bound to experience small glitches along the way, and that’s ok. You can always make changes along the way as necessary!
I think it’s part of the entrepreneur’s “curse”: too many great ideas, not enough time. But once in a while, an idea comes to you that you just can’t shake – that idea that keeps you up at night, and just won’t leave you alone.
If you’re ready to move on your great idea, this article should help. The key is to get out of your head, and start taking action…even if it’s just taking small steps towards your ultimate goal.
Are you sitting on a great idea? If so, what’s keeping you from taking action? Let me know in the comments below!