Every great invention and system change has been the result of a great idea. But great ideas are just that, and without some follow-up, they'll never make their mark on the industry — or the world. 'Aha' moments are a solid start, but there are a lot of details you'll need to fill in.
So when you're convinced you have the next million-dollar idea, what should be your next step in bringing it to fruition? Here are 10 entrepreneurs on the actions you need take to make things work.
A. Get Started
Most people won’t take the idea to the next level of actually building a plan around the idea. Focus on the step by step. Ask: How do I make this a reality, and what do I need to do that? Then seek out people with expertise to give you advice on how to build out the different areas in your plan. - Brendon Schrader, Antenna
A. Write It Down, Then Review It a Day Later
Everything is brilliant until you put it on paper. Start to write out and plan the idea. Map it out, then walk away from it for a day or two. Come back to your paper, and then revise and rework it again and again. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
A. Tell Your Close Friends, And Then Refine the Idea
When you have an idea, tell your close friends. Refine the story and listen to their reactions. Does anyone say, "That's really interesting ... how can I help?" or "Can I join?" Do folks come back a few days later and point out that they've been thinking about it? Try to overcome friends' reservations, and when you do that, move forward to validating with folks you don't know. - Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
A. Do Your Research
It's easy to have a million-dollar idea. It's even easier (and frustrating) to learn that the idea already exists and has been made. Do your research. If you find that you are all alone with this idea, then get to work. When starting new, I like to begin with the best team I can build and expand from there. - Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution
A. Find Out If Your Idea Meets a Need
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your idea is servicing a need. Is there a gap in the market? Why should your target market — and the wider population — care about this idea? At the end of the day, if there’s no audience, there’s no million-dollar idea. Once you can honestly answer these questions, then you can look more seriously at taking it to market. - Stephen Ufford, Trulioo
A. Validate the Profitability of the Idea
It's easy to think you have a million-dollar idea — it's much harder to prove it. The first step is validation where you must ask actual potential customers how much they would pay, and then do the math to see if you can actually profit. You may even have to build what's called a minimum viable product or MVP to test this realistically, but without testing, your idea will always just be an idea. - Beth Doane, Main & Rose
A. Protect the Idea
Whatever your million-dollar idea is, be sure to protect it. Whether you need to copyright it or register a patent, make sure that you are the legal owner of that idea and then execute it immediately. Patent registrations have an expiration date, so it’s critical to take action. Also, someone can present a slightly altered version of your idea. Protect and act! - Derek Broman, Discount Enterprises LLC deguns.net
A. Market the Pre-Release to Gauge Interest
At the end of the day, it almost always comes back to marketing, and you can validate ideas and accelerate their fruition by starting here. Throw up a simple one-page website, where people can buy or sign up for a pre-release of the product or service. Then send people to the page from Facebook or some other marketing channel and see how it does. If people are signing up or buying, you've got a winner. - Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine
A. Build a Dream Team
A business is only as a good as its team. A single person is incapable of building an entire business from the ground up, so it is important to identify a team of people whose skill sets complement each other. As I built my company, I knew it was important to work with leaders who brought a different perspective than mine. This way, we all bring new ideas to the table and push our comfort levels. - Stan Garber, Scout RFP
A. Find an Unfair Advantage to Make the Idea a Real Business
When I hear entrepreneurs pitching their ideas, I always try to identify why this person is the best one to tackle it and has a unique unfair advantage over anyone else in the market with the same idea. Because these unfair advantages (whether you have years of expertise in a domain or an existing business) usually really help to validate the idea and reach the product market fit much faster. - Artur Kiulian, Colab
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.