Road-testing your new business idea before you commit resources to it is always a good idea!
As a coach to entrepreneurs, I see a lot of businesses thrive. I also see some great ideas never make it to market. Over time, I have seen clear patterns emerge in what drives a successful launch of a new venture.
I would like to share with you these five factors for entrepreneurs to consider before you launch your business.
#1) Conviction: Are you completely convinced that your idea is a winner?
Creating a business from scratch can be one of the most fulfilling endeavors of your life. It can help you meet your life's purpose and enable you to use your gifts to help the most people possible. It can even make you rich.
But, it can also be a giant nightmare, headache and money pit.
One of the key factors that can help you predict upfront which it will be for you is your degree of conviction about your idea.
To be an idea worthy of building a business, you have to feel that it is unique, serves many, and is difficult for others to replicate. You have to feel a sense of true pride when you think about it. You have to think that you would like to be building this business even if you weren't being paid for it. Yes, you should believe in your idea that much.
#2) Communicate: Do people quickly grasp why your idea is different from what is already out there in the marketplace?
For you to carve out a place in people's hearts and minds with your new idea, they have to be able to understand it quickly and agree that it is unlike anything that already exists.
You need to be able to describe your idea in a few words and have people nodding their heads and smiling almost immediately for it to take the world by storm. Try giving mini-elevator pitches about your new idea to some people today and see what reaction you get. The most important element for you to communicate is how your idea benefits its users, rather than its cool features and design. If people get the benefits, then they will want to learn more. Your prospects want to know how it will help them.
#3) Commercialize: Can you clearly identify who will buy your big idea?
The key question here is to figure out if the people who are nodding and smiling will also be opening their wallets.
If you are like me, you think a lot of products and services are really cool, but you would never buy them. This intention to purchase is a very important distinction and it will really serve you to figure out in advance if people are going to buy it or just admire it. I always advise my clients to do market testing and quantify their target markets while they are still in the early stages of planning.
#4) Create vs. Command: Do you think that you are going to want to run this business for the next five years OR do you want to start it up and hand it off?
It is surprising how many first-time entrepreneurs are in love with their idea and feel completely committed to it as their full-time job for the rest of their lives only to discover that once they have launched it, they would rather be launching their next great idea. It takes a very different skill set and passion to successfully manage and profitably grow a business than it does to be a visionary creator and innovator. You may be both and that's great. But if you aren't, it can save you a lot of future pain if you set your business launch up now with the intent to sell it or hand over the reins at a specific point.
#5) Collaborate: Are you putting together a team of people who are passionate about your idea and pragmatic about making it happen?
Every creator and inventor needs an amazing team of people who can bring their inspired vision to life...and to market. No one person has all the skills necessary to create a product/ service from scratch and ramp-up a profitable business.
When I work with entrepreneurs, I ask them to take an hour and a piece of paper and write out their dream team: what types of experts do you need and what would they do? Would they be temporary contractors or part of your core team? How would they be paid? What are the top three must-have competencies in order for them to give you what you need?
Many entrepreneurs are so busy thinking through all the different steps they need to take that they never stop and take the time in the beginning to map out what resources they will really need and how big a team their idea requires. When you start to do this scratch paper planning exercise, you can start to get into alignment with what level of resources are needed and begin to make trade-offs in product/ service design to make your launch more affordable and practical.
There is nothing more exciting or gratifying than creating a thriving business from your vision and I wish you the best of luck with yours! To learn more about my practice, please visit my website at www.katyhansell.com.