- Visualise your idea
- Workshop your options
- Be prepared to make changes
- Understand how you will market your idea
For every 10 great business ideas, only one will be a true success. Which one will be successful? There’s no crystal ball to predict – but there are some tips that will help you know if your idea is ready to fly.
The most effectively marketed businesses are generally the most successful, which comes down to the person driving the business. It doesn’t matter how great your business idea is, if you can’t market it, it probably won’t be a success.
In the 1970s the electronic company Sony developed two video technologies: BETA and VHS. BETA has always been widely regarded as technically superior, but VHS is the category killer. Why? Sony sold its VHS technology to a competitor, Panasonic and kept BETA for itself. Although the VHS technology was inferior, Panasonic understood the value of marketing video rentals on the VHS platform. It went about signing up all the content providers – the big movie production houses – to its platform, and distributed videos on VHS right around the world.
Sony never replicated VHS’s marketing success, and BETA never found the audience Sony craved. Despite its technical superiority, Sony was no match for Panasonic’s marketing behemoth.
No idea? Here’s how to get one
If you haven’t already got a business idea, there are a couple of ways you can develop one. The first is to identify a gap in a market and create a product to fill it.
Another great way to come up with a business idea is to hold a creativity workshop with some likeminded people who also want to set up new businesses. Set exercises for the group to focus everyone on their strengths and passions, then share and workshop each other’s ideas in the group to develop everyone’s thoughts.
It’s an idea to use a creative space like a room with a view or great natural light, as well as props such as coloured pens and papers to activate the mind. You can even turn the group into a regular support workshop to help develop each other’s businesses as they grow.
Got an idea? Here’s how to develop it
If you already have a business idea, you’ll need to develop and refine it before you can craft it into a going concern. There are three key steps you can follow to do this.
Step 1 – explore a bunch of different business ideas. Unless you have a business idea that’s truly killer it’s an idea to workshop a few different options. This gives you choice and will allow you to focus on the idea that has the most potential to be a success.
Step 2 – Creatively visualise the entirety of the business idea. If your idea is for a new product, who will manufacture it? Where will it be made? How will you get it from the factory to your customers? Really flesh out the idea to see if it’s got wings.
Step 3 – the last step is to be prepared to change your original idea as new and better ideas emerge during the planning process. Don’t be afraid of letting go of your original dream if a better one appears during the planning process.
Ultimately, it’s impossible to know when you start out whether you’ll be a success. After you’ve defined your point of difference and proven its benefits to your customer base, the best thing to do is get out there and do as much research as you possibly can into your idea and the potential market for it. You’ve got to back yourself and take a risk. Good luck!