If you are like me you come up with ideas for businesses or ways to make money all the time. Whether that is in the shower or if you are driving home after work, or you might even just be falling asleep (This is by far the most annoying!).
When we switch off from our daily lives we become far more creative we actually think a lot more. However weird this sounds, when we think we aren’t thinking we really are. Yet, how often do we start turning an idea into a business?
I always say I practice what I preach, however, this is one area I never used to. The worry about failing was something I couldn’t get away from. I thought my family and friends would laugh at me.
I learnt that it really doesn’t matter, what matters is that you started. When I first started building websites and forums, I failed miserably and I mean miserably. I had two websites that where absolute flops. The ideas where brilliant and one of them I went to make a lot of money from and get a lot of subscribers, however, we learn from making mistakes.
The first thing we all need to do is start. Now before we go any further, I need you to buy into something. When you have read this blog you will go away and work on your idea. There is no point reading this article and not doing something about it. There is also no point reading this article and then start playing candy crush or whatever the latest fad game is.
1. Focus on One Idea.
Like I said at the beginning, I have a lot of ideas. I mean a lot of them and I used to work on them all at one time. This doesn’t work. No matter how good all of your ideas are you can’t start them all at the same time.
Sit down for half an hour and just work through your ideas. Put down on a piece of paper all the ideas that you have. From this list, which one of these are you truly passionate about? Which one of these do you believe in the most and see yourself spending the next year working solely on.
I am not saying spend just one year on one thing, I am saying if you can’t see yourself working on this one thing alone for the next year you shouldn’t be doing it. Creating a business isn’t easy at first, it takes a lot of time. However, as I have always said getting rich slowly is easy and takes time.
Focusing on one idea allows you to give everything to this one project. If you spread your time too thinly you can’t focus and you won’t be doing justice to your idea.
I can’t unfortunately give you this idea, this idea has to come from you. Of course I have ideas and you are happy to buy them from me, but it doesn’t work if you are just going to use someone else’s idea as you won’t be able to understand the market.
2. What problem are you solving?
Along with getting started this is one of the key steps in turning your idea into a business. What problem are you solving? If someone buys your time/book/course/product what are they going to gain?
You could be the best business person in the world you might have people coming to your website in their million, but if you aren’t offering them something that solves a problem they have they won’t buy from you.
You need to offer value. If you aren’t offering quality, you won’t have a sustainable business. Now I am not saying that people who offer poor quality don’t make money, but this isn’t sustainable. If you want to make quick money, this blog isn’t for you. Offering quality means that you are able to earn money (Big money) consistently over a long period of time.
So you need to:
- Identify what problem you are solving
- What problems may your customers face in the future
- Analyse the problem they face
- How will you solve this problem
- In what format are you going to solve this issue, i.e. coaching, online course, a product, a book etc…
- Constantly improve your solution
If you can do all of this you know your idea is worth going moving onto the next stage. You need to be able to truly identify their problems, what problems they may face in the future and present them with a solution you have an idea that you can build a business around.
If at this stage you are unsure if your product solves a problem, this doesn’t mean you don’t have a good idea, it just means you need to refine your idea.
What problem do selfie sticks solve? In my eyes no problem as they are the most pointless thing anyone can buy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great business idea.
3. Validate your Idea
Now before you go off and spend a fortune on trademarking your brand, or buying every single domain name with your idea in you need to validate your idea.
This is a vital step in the process as this can save you a lot of money and more importantly time. We have all though we have an excellent idea that solves a problem, but quite often it is just us that thinks this is a problem.
There are two stages in the process.
Firstly find out where your customers are and get in touch with them. A lot of mine are clients of mine already and people I work. In my other businesses they are people I speak to on forums or blogs, or even people I interact with at networking events. Speak to them. Nothing beats speaking to people and discussing your idea.
People get worried that they are going to steal your idea, don’t be worried. They won’t. Quite often this stage allows you to speak directly with your customers and can help come up with new ways to monetize your idea, and ways you can improve it.
Secondly build a prototype. Whether this is a blog offering coaching, or write a short free book and put it on Amazon. Or you make a prototype of the course or product you are going to offer. This is vital. People might say they are interested in something but until you put it up for sale or on offer, you will never know. This might mean just putting it to your friends or contacts and ask them if they think what you are offering is something they would pay for.
I often offer the product to my friends, whether that is coaching, an online course, a book or a product. Normally I say to them right, here is my product this is what I am going to offer. I don’t tell them how much I am going to charge.
I then ask them to send anonymously to my bank account exactly what they think it is worth. This can help you gauge what value you can put on what you are offering and secondly it really helps validate your idea. They might be you friend but they still won’t pay you £100 if it’s not worth it!
If you want more on validating your idea, read Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn.
4. Find Your Market and Build for it
Each and very market is different, you can’t advertise an AirBnb letting service without having a website for example, it just doesn’t work.
Find out where your market is and how to sell to it. Now in this day and age 99% of businesses need an online website and I imagine this is not going to change. However, the type of website you build will be very different.
Do you build an e-commerce website, do you build a text based blog (like this one), do you build an image based website advertising your service, it really depends on what your market is after. If you don’t take into account your market you idea could go down the drain.
Often you see brilliant ideas and people spend hours developing an excellent product, but it all gets wasted as they market it wrong. This post isn’t going to go into detail about how to market your products etc… that is for another day, but the idea that you can just rely on your product to sell itself is wrong.
You can’t have a successful business without a good product and successful marketing.
5. Find yourself a Business Coach and Partner
Now I don’t just say this to sell you my services, go out and search for one there are hundreds on the internet.
Each and everyone of us has skills and expertise, and quite often we use these to develop our ideas into businesses. However, if you don’t hire a business coach you are selling your idea short and not giving yourself a chance. Whether that is just because they will push you on to spend time on the business, or whether they are giving you advice.
Having someone alongside you to motivate you and work with you is worth every penny you spend on it. For every penny you spend on a coach you will get at least two pound back.
The key to all of this is to take action. Of course you can hire a business coach to help you and motivate you, but if you don’t want to do it for yourself you never will.
What was my desire? My desire was to earn more money so I could become financially independent. What’s yours? Only you can figure that out.
This is only the start of your journey. Turning an idea into a business is the beginning, but it is the first step you have to take. I believe you should find something you are passionate about, like I have with helping people create wealth, and build your business around that.
If you need any help of course I would be happy to help you develop your ideas and your business to help you create wealth. To get more information, click here.
Want more information on whether you have a killer idea.
I recently read Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money – This book will help you evaluate every business idea that you have and make sure that it is worth devoting your time too.