Coming up with ideas is often said to be the easy part.
Do you really believe this?
How many ideas that you come up with in the normal course of your everyday experience have legs?
The new business idea process focuses on idea generation. Why is this? It’s because you need a large number of ideas to ultimately find a winner.
This is why you need an effective system to generate ideas, evaluate and select them, test them in the marketplace before you introduce them full-scale into the market. Even after launch, you may need to refine your idea based on customer feedback.
At the ideas stage it’s critical to know how your idea will satisfy an unmet need in the marketplace.
It’s a good step to do some market research to get a sense of your prospective customer. Find out from web searches, chat forums, magazines, industry or business associations and talking to people in the know.
Check out your potential competition. See what they are already supplying their customers. What are the features and benefits of the products and services? Which benefits are they focusing on to sell their products and services?
Crowdsourcing, when you get feedback online, is all well and good for general solutions to problems. But I’d be reluctant to showcase an idea to all and sundry only to find out that they copy your idea, produce a knock-off or modify it for their purposes.
Collect feedback from your market by all means but do it quietly, selectively in a market where you won’t be too visible. Don’t ask people you already know – they’ll tell you that your idea is good.
A test market for your product or service is essential. The best feedback is when someone opens their wallet and gives you money for your product or service.
Try a low-cost micro website where you can determine whether someone will actually pay for your product or service.
When you feel that the demand for your product is strong enough, it’s time to scale up. Think about the timing for your launch, your advertising, distribution and sales channels – online, retail, distribution agencies and so on.
Home-work can pay off. An effective idea to-to launch system enables you to think through all the phases of implementing your idea.