Millions of people around the world undoubtedly have a number of great ideas that they feel could become globally popular products and be very lucrative from a financial standpoint. However, while some ideas and dreams are realized, leading many of us to look on enviously and think, “Why on Earth didn’t I think of that?” others don’t even make it out of the head of whoever has the idea in the first place.
Television shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank have brought home the reality of just how difficult it is to take the seed of an idea and turn it into a long-term successful business. Here are some tips and advice that will help get you on the right track if your head is rich with ideas but you don’t know where to start.
Believing in yourself, your product or service, and everything you do in order to achieve your objectives, is crucial to turning an idea into a business.
You might not meet an investor or find your first customer until you speak to the 100th person, meaning you need to resilient enough to deal with the first 99 people who tell you that your business won’t work and that they’re not interested.
Many an entrepreneur has let a great idea go because they couldn’t deal with this phase. Believe in yourself, and learn how to deal with and learn from criticism, and that’s half the battle.
Finding a Partner
The biggest problem with most ideas is getting them out there. Some great minds have thought up some genius products, but wouldn’t know where to start building a website or looking for potential clients.
If you’re seeking startup investment, there’s a chance that an investor can put you into contact with the people that you need to know. If your communication and speaking skills aren’t as great as they might be, find someone who can pitch on your behalf and meet people for you, too.
Start to Expose Yourself Now
You don’t need to be a multi-million dollar corporation to enjoy influence on social media. Join the LinkedIn groups that are relevant to entrepreneurship and new business, launch an Enthuse profile to show people what you’re about and what you’ve done before, and get people behind your business and sharing your products, services, or brand message with everyone.
If you’re still in the development stage, going to an investor and saying you have even 1,000 people who have expressed an interest via social media or an email subscription, for example, can be a great way to boost your chances of success.
Plan for the Future
It doesn’t matter how good your idea is, an investor might not be interested if you only have one idea. Granted, your product might sell in the thousands in the first year before interest nosedives, but even if investors know this they’re likely to see a short-term investment as a bigger risk, and one perhaps not worth taking.
Alternatively, if you can show how one idea leads to another, and then another, so that in three to five years’ time you have an established, popular brand, your chances of success increase massively.
This turns full circle back to the point about self-belief. The best analogy, although a cliché, is still the one about the market trader selling fruits and vegetables. He smiles and speaks to everyone, even if only 1% of the people he speaks to actually make a purchase. If he doesn’t, he won’t make the money he needs to feed his family. Eventually, he’ll gain a reputation for providing quality products, and will start to sell to 2%, 3%, and his customer base will continue to grow.
Be patient and take a similar approach to your business; you aren’t going to become Google overnight, but you’ll be giving your business every opportunity to grow organically if you’re doing everything else you possibly can.
by Teo Alvin who is a business development and startup expert and is passionate about helping people with great ideas but little business knowledge turn their plans into money.