Choosing the right idea(s)
This is the most common question prospects ask me when considering packaging their passion. They usually want to know which idea they should focus on, the ones to discard or leave for another time.
When I started Business First Steps, one of the cardinal sins I used to commit back then was to develop products or services based on my emotions or preferences. After the struggle of slow or no sales, I took a step back and decided to carry out more research into idea generation and development and find the right gap in the market.
If you are swimming in the ideas pool and struggling to choose an idea to take forward, here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
Do not choose an idea based on your emotions or preferences. Not everyone is like you nor will like what you enjoy. If you create a product based on your needs, you might end up playing with it all by yourself. You will do well to heed the other tips below.
Choose an idea that solves a problem. People are looking for concepts that can solve an immediate or long-term problem. Some problems are not obvious but your product could highlight the need for a solution to them.
Choose an idea you are passionate about. Without passion, ideas die. Passion is what will sustain you when the going gets tough, so make sure you choose an idea that lights the fire within you. Take the advice of Michael Dell of Dell Computers – “Whether you’ve found your calling, or if you’re still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your life’s work.”
Base your idea on people’s needs. Adequate research will help you discover what people need and what you can offer to meet that need. What does your target audience need, what are they complaining about, and what are they yearning for? If you can identify this, you have cracked the code that can lead to a good business idea.
Target the right audience. No matter how good your product is; if it is developed with the wrong audience in mind, it is bound to fail. For example, discount stores locate themselves in communities with a higher rate of low-income earners because they know that is where they can meet a variety of need. Pay close attention to the people you meet on your daily journey and start a catalogue of what they talk about. You just never know what you might develop from them.
Choose an idea that adds value – your idea should add value to others and to you. Value is defined as ‘the usefulness of something’. Value does not always equate to money but does mean adding something of worth (determined by the recipient) to make life better.
Choose a viable idea – only the fittest ideas can survive in our competitive world. Your idea must be viable – capable of working successfully, feasible and with the right processes and systems to support it. Whether you choose a for-profit or not-for-profit idea, ensure you have a workable plan that can stand the test of time.
I am sure with the tips above, you will gain further clarity and confidence to step forward with your idea. Analysing, processing and packaging is part and parcel of idea development. Do not discard the ideas that come to mind, process your thoughts, write your ideas down and allow them to breathe. You just never know what might become of them.
Ready to get out of the ideas pool and make it work?
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