Everyone has great ideas. How many times have you looked at someone becoming successful and thought, “I could have come up with that!” It’s not enough to just have a good idea pop into your head, you have to create and curate your great business ideas so they can reach their full potential. What we see on TV shows like Sharktank is the final step in a long and arduous process. Those entrepreneurs already put in all the work to find a problem, find the solution, and find a way to bring it from their mind to reality.
Step 1: Finding the Problem, Find the Solution
Your idea, your solution, can be anything. Therefore, it can adapt to be whatever you need it to be so it’s best to start with the problem. Look around, think about your day to day life. Is something missing from it? Is something annoying you? Do you see a better way to do something? Firstly, it’s a good idea to start small, save world hunger for another day. Find a small, boring problem and create a great idea for a business around it. Second, think what’s the most basic way it can be solved? Above all, don’t ignore problems that have already been solved, sometimes a problem hasn’t found a solution because no-one cares enough to change it. Find a problem with a solution, come up with a great idea for a better way, and maybe you can create the bidet to someone else’s toilet paper.
Step 2: Distribution, Getting Your Ideas Out There.
Congratulations! You’ve created the best thing since sliced bread, but now what? Above all, the most important step in creating great business ideas is distribution. But that doesn’t mean buying a food truck and hawking your wares outside the local 7/11, distribution is about reaching your audience, and covers everything from SEO, social media, ads, and logistics. Luckily, you’ll find a good place to start to getting customers interested here. Reaching your audience is paramount to turning a great idea into a business, so focusing your efforts here is a must. Make sure you’re choosing the right channels for your target audience. To sum up, If your customers don’t know your product exists, then it doesn’t matter how great of an idea you created.
Step 3: Plan Your Attack.
A fail to plan is a plan to fail. You’ve created a great business idea, you’ve identified your target audience and how to reach them, the next step is set things in motion. We’ve a great guide on goal setting here, which I highly recommend you read thoroughly, but I’m going to go over the main points here. Create a long term goal, a vision. It needs to be specific enough to provide guidance, but vague enough so that it doesn’t constrict you. Use this as a compass as your business moves forth, and refer to it for most important decisions. Next, learn how to set short term goals effectively. This means make them S.M.A.R.T.
- Write down exactly what each step needs to do.
- Make sure that it’s easy to check if you’ve completed it and gives you a concrete number or goal to work towards
- Make them hard, but not too hard. Having a challenge to rise to is a great motivator, but make sure you’re not setting standards unreasonably high.
- This is similar to above, but focuses more on making sure that you have the capabilities to meet the goals you set. Consider you skill set, ability, and time when thinking of next steps.
- Give yourself a deadline, nothing is a kick in the pants quite like seeing the date when everything is due. This also helps make sure that everything keeps moving along at a favorable pace.
Again, I recommend going back and reading the guide in full, as it provides even more advice on how to set goals and make progress on the way to success.
Step 4: Keep at it.
The last and most important thing to do is not give up. There will be challenges, and a lot of the time it will seem impossible, or that a set back is the end of things. Keep in mind that re-evaluating, waiting until the time is right or even changing everything completely isn’t giving up. Keep striving, keep creating new business ideas, keep finding ways to innovate and keep getting your ideas out there. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.