These days, having a great idea just isn't enough. Everyone and their cousin has great ideas; ideas about transportation, time management, food, energy, consulting, healthcare, technology, delivery, manufacturing -- you name it, and it's been thought of. In fact, we even have entire organizations and infrastructures designed to generate and promote ideas. From something as small as a new synthetic fabric softener, to bigger things -- like developing the precursors of a time machine, we are far from being short of new thoughts.
Everyone thinks they are the next Steve Jobs, whether it's an idea for a new type of self-programming watch, a radio system, or a dog whistle. Yet, with so many innovative concepts flying around, why do so few get brought to fruition? And "few" is an extreme understatement. One out of every few hundred thought-leaders will successfully found a company, and turn it into some form of recognized organization for some period of time. Of these self-created CEOs and founders, a fraction -- and I mean less than one percent -- succeed in the long run. Coming up with an idea is easy. Growing a company from seed stage to IPO is extremely difficult. But at the same time, we see success all the time. Snapchat. Facebook. Pinterest. New ideas churn out millions of dollars, and it seems like a new one is born almost every week.
Success is possible, therefore. It just takes some work. The question then becomes -- what separates the companies who make it from those who don't?
There are many steps one must take to turn their idea to revenue. Gaining supporters, raising money, and growing an audience are a few of the early methods that can help in the long run. In your company's early stages, it is important to get feed back and iterate as much as you can until you can achieve product market fit. Investing in your idea and your team are good ways to ensure your security long term.
When you are part of a new company, getting your name out there is tricky. There are already a mountain of other, established companies, many of which might be doing something similar to what you are trying to do. Getting the right press, media, and marketing is crucial to your company's early success. Marketing expertise and execution are two of the most important aspects for a new company, and doing them right will help you get traction and expand your audience. As a part of your marketing initiatives, know that managing the media effectively is one of the most important things that a startup can do, early on.
Once you have gained an audience, some initial traction, and product market fit, it is important to revise and expedite your sales process. Creating an effective sales process is key to your company's success. Utilizing email marketing to increase sales is a great way to drive up business. As with any new company, you will have to rely heavily on cold-calls and cold-emails, until you can afford the marketing dollars to generate warm leads yourself. Referrals are the most secure, cheapest way to acquire new business opportunities. Respecting your clients, partnerships, and contributors will enable you to expand your reach beyond your existing network. Building your brand, at this stage, is hugely important for your success.