So you have an idea, you think you can make it work and make money with the idea. Be it a product or a service – what are the first steps?
We are asked this question thankfully often. Entrepreneurs are born problem solvers and opportunity seekers – and may that never change.
But, and you knew this was coming, we are often overly convinced of the validity or strength of our own ideas.
So the first thing we recommend is to challenge and check. Challenge all of your assumptions. Is your new app idea really the new Pokemon Go? Do we really need another dating website? Is it realistic to compete with Uber? And what will it take to make the business successful?
It’s always a good idea to first take your idea and brainstorm and test it out. If you have it well mapped out in a business plan, then get some feedback from some unrelated parties that will give you candid and constructive feedback. It doesn’t need to be perfect to succeed, but it does help to flesh out if you have found a truly new or necessary solution to very real pain point.
Then once you are sure of the need, research and check to figure out who your ideal customer is. An example of a good test was a test of a device that helped a golfer’s swing – the pro hated the product – but they were not the market. The market was the other 98% of the people who play golf and they loved the product.
Once you have identified your target market, also look at your competition, study your competition. What are the competitive weaknesses you have to defend and where are your competitive strengths with which you lead?
Only after you know your marketplace should you start looking at the next steps which we will discuss in subsequent posts such as name, branding, corporate structure, financing, processes, and more.