We have recently observed an increase in existing or prospective clients that visit us for support in implementing a business idea. In some cases the clients are already business owners and they want to test a new product or service. In other cases they just want to start their own business but they are not very clear of the steps involved. They feel that it is very hard to turn their thoughts to actions. To help with this we wrote down our thoughts that are summarised in the 5 basic steps below:
1. Talk to people
One of the best ways to test your idea is to share it with people, internal and external to your company or friends.
You’ll need to talk to people internally to find out if your company and team have the necessary skills, capacity, and equipment to carry out your vision. Your people may also have additional insight or ideas for things that could work, and suggestions for avoiding possible pitfalls. If you don’t work for a company that can implement your idea, talk to friends and family members, people that you trust and appreciate their opinion.
Talk to your customers or clients or potential clients as well, to get their feedback. Ask some important questions:
- Is your new product or service something they could or would use?
- Is it something they would pay for?
- Does it solve a pain point for them?
2. Set your budget
Have a budget to develop your new product or service and make sure part of that budget is set aside for testing. You may have to set aside a few weeks for testing, but it’s worth it in the long run before you dive into an unproven idea. Showing yourself your idea is profitable gives you increased confidence moving forward.
3. Determine what resources you need
If you’re trying something new, chances are you’ll have to expand your resources in some way. If you’re building a new product, you may need to purchase new equipment or materials. If you’re adding a new service or location, you may have to hire new staff with additional qualifications.
Conduct a needs assessment to determine what resources you’ll need to be successful in the venture. Then conduct a gap analysis to determine which resources are already accessible to you and which you’ll need to source.
We want you to pay particular attention to identify the resources you need. To turn a good business idea to a successful business, this is usually a result of a team work. You will need people as well as equipment to help you. Building your team and infrastructure and creating synergies, should be one of your top priorities.
4. Build a prototype or test service
Choose 50 potential target clients to test your product or service and ask them to be really critical of it. You want all their thoughts on your idea, not just positive ones. The people testing it should feel free to express any issues they noticed, so you can build the best possible solution for them.
5. Embrace failure
Being comfortable with failure allows you to take risks and try new things. Embrace the idea that your new product or service won’t be perfect immediately, but with some constructive feedback and testing you can tweak it so that it works.
Rather than focusing on the possibility of failure, focus on the idea of experimenting to make things work better. As a result, you’ll be more open to new ideas and pursuing innovation.
Successful businesses are built on innovative ideas, and it’s important to embrace great ideas. That said, with careful planning and testing you can increase your chances of success in the long run. If you have an idea for your business, these five tips will help you refine it so you can move forward.
If you’re wondering about the financial feasibility of your business idea, speak to us about your circumstances. We can help you take control of your business’s finances.