There are millions of ideas, but if not properly executed the idea will fail or fall apart. Now lets talk about “The Idea”

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the core make up of the service/product?

    1. Is the product or service something that has tentacles such as additional services or products?
    2. Is your solution pivotal, can you retool to shift toward consumer changing needs or feedback?
    3. Do you have a revenue model?
      1. What does that look like?

What is the competition in the space look like?

    1. Is there an opportunity that is being underserved that you can fix?
    2. When I start a competitive analysis I define the following:
      1. List of the competitors
        1. Parent company/Owner
        2. Company status, are they private or public
        3. Yearly Revenue
        4. Number of Employees
        5. Yearly Ad Spend to acquire new customers and retain current
        6. What is the demographic
          1. Male/Female
          2. Household Income
          3. Age
        7. Estimate traffic of their site or amount of customers
        8. Do they have key partners
        9. What vertical do they service

Do you feel you could commit to this idea for the long term? 3 – 5 years

    1. Start-ups typically take 3- 5 years to turn a profit; by this time your profits are most likely going into the investors pockets, or back into the company and most likely not to yourself.
    2. If your looking for a “get rich” idea approach will most likely fail and you will then burn out quickly.
    3. In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm and commitment
      1. Enthusiasm behind your idea is key; this will wake you up each day feeling driven.
      2. Commitment will help maintain your drive even when you hit the wall, make mistakes or hear the word “not interested” or “no” (which you will hear a lot).

Are you looking for an exit strategy that is lifestyle based or Liquidity?

    1. When looking for a lifestyle business, which typically means you are self sufficient to handle the work yourself, or looking to just maintain a modest salary that supports your needs and employees. I.e. Flower Shop, Pet Supply Store, Boutique.
    2. If you are looking to become a game changer and possibly go public, be acquired or dominate the world you will then fall into the bucket of a liquidity company.
    3. Both these approaches have very different business acumen to execute

Using a sliding scale of 1-10, 10 being highest, what is your expertise in this business?

    1. If you answered 10, meaning that you have 100% certainty that you ability to operate in this business idea than go for it.
    2. If you answered 5, you might want to take some time to learn more about the industry, the requirement to succeed in this industry and possibly take courses on best practices.
    3. If you answered 1, then you might want to think of something that fits you better.
    4. Being honest with yourself and capabilities is the most important part of idea creation, especially since you must rely only on yourself to make this idea happen.

Does your business require resources outside of your ability? I.e. Engineer, Programmer, etc

    1. When I work with entrepreneurs, I help them identify what they can bring to the table. For example if your strength is accounting and administration, and your cofounder is the producer, you are missing two other important roles that truly fill out the leadership team of any start up.
      1. 4 key people in any start up are
        1. The Idea man/woman, Creator, big concept
        2. Strategist sees the big picture and how to make it happen
        3. Producer, makes things happen
        4. Administration makes sure everything is documented and accounted for.
    2. Here are some traits to a successful team
      1. Activator
        1. Activators find ways to simply get things started and make things happen, which is synonymous with the definition of a leader.
      2. Adaptability
        1. Nothing in a startup ever goes as planned, and thus, startup founders must be able to adapt to changing circumstances.
      3. Strategic
        1. Strategic thinking names the company, defines what makes you unique, finds where in the market to position your product, determines how to best orient the value proposition, discovers how users will find your service, and figures out who will ultimately become a strategic partner.
      4. Discipline
        1. Roles and responsibilities can pull a founder in so many directions that he can feel lost in the chaos.
      5. Focus
        1. You have 100 things to do today, but you only have time to accomplish three. Which ones do you get done?

How will you fund the resources that are necessary to get the project to either demonstration mode or working for your customers?

    1. Do you have a long lost uncle who recently passed away and you inherited 3 million dollars to spend however you choose? Well then you are all set, time to execute.
    2. If you don’t have this luxury of an inheritance there are a few ways you can raise capital;
      1. Bootstrap it – Pull together your life savings, credit lines, open a personal loan see how far that will take you.
      2. Friends and Family – open the idea to your loved ones and see if they’d like to invest
      3. Create a business plan, investor pitch deck and financial model that you can open outside investment doors with.

Have you surveyed this idea to your social circle, and thought through ways to modify or retool?

    1. I hear a lot of times people do not share their ideas, scared that someone will take it and run. This brings us the reality checkpoint!  No one will steal your idea, and if you never execute this idea then it’s going nowhere any way. There are ways to protect your idea.
      1. Patents/Trademarks/Copyright
    2. One of the things I try to practice in life is “when I say it out loud, to a friend or to my pet” I try to execute on it. Meaning I’m holding myself personally accountable to actually practice what I’m preaching.

If you think you’re ready give us a call, we can help you with your go to market strategy!

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In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.

There is no good enough idea.