Innovation roadmaps are dime a dozen. They range from 12-step roadmaps to even more complex systems from mega expensive idea-generation consultants that will cost you a large fortune.
Here’s a simple process that you can apply to any idea that you think may have commercial value:
Screen your idea to find out whether it has a clear value proposition which in plain speak means find out whether prospective customers will want to buy it. The common mistake is to come up with an idea for a new product or service and then look for a market opportunity. Don’t scratch the surface. Ask these questions:
What problem does it solve?
What amazing benefits will it deliver to customers?
Can you identify potential customers?
Is there a market big enough for it? Remember that markets are increasingly fragmenting into niches.
What are the potential sales?
How would you sell to customers?
Address any overlooked areas in your product or service concept. If you can’t improve your product or service concept so that it’s better than what is available on the market, assess whether you should scrap it. Face up to it. Generate new ideas.
Screening your wickedly effective idea lowers its chances of ending up in intensive care. It allows you to spot all the holes in your initial concept may sink you before you even start to sell your product or service.
Testing involves actually selling your product in your niche. Find a test market area or a group of customers. Sell your product or service to them. Find out what they think of your product or service. Ask them for jaw-dropping testimonials on how your product or service has changed their lives. After this test drive, hone your product or service before you put your reputation on the line in your main niche market.
Why test your idea? Because without knowing that you have something that prospects must absolutely have, you don’t have a business but an untested idea that could turn out a terrible flop.
Commercialising means taking your product or service to market, finding selling channels and advertising using cost effective methods and media. Something blazingly obvious: You’ll need to write a business plan but keep it to the essentials, preferably one-page only.
Very few ideas see the light of day. But ideas are required in a world that is rapidly realising that natural resources are finite. It’s crunch time for fish, water and even energy if alternatives and renewable are not scaled up. Ideas are infinite, limited only by the human ingenuity and imagination.
Savvy, battle-hardened, business owners know that implementing new business ideas is a necessary step to take their idea from a mere seed, through the innovation roadmap to ultimate harvesting of income.