An idea is not enough till it is applied in some meaningful way( for example taking it to market and making money from it). If you have an idea and do not know how to bring it to the market, read on.
An idea may be created in mind anytime.
For e.g. you are in a grocery store standing in a line for a long time. You suddenly get an idea that you have some way to reduce the line or to make it easy for the shoppers.
Let us say, you are sitting at a beach and suddenly you feel hungry. Unable to find any restaurant you decide to set up a restaurant yourself.
In an other case, you find the lack of educational facilities in your town appalling and decide to open a new school in your locality.
Everyone keeps getting such ideas from time to time. However, there are very few who decide to take the ideas in their head and make a plan around them . Getting an idea from the inception in your head to the market requires enough resources and commitment. Here are some of the steps that you can take after you have fixed upon an idea and are wondering what to do next.
- Narrow down an idea into as small bit as possible
- Fit your ideas into any industry segment
- Analyze the industry your product will fit in
- Do research on customer needs and pain points
- Plan around your idea
- Talk to resellers, merchants and dealers
- Execute your plan
Many of us start with grand ideas( and which are world conquering too). It is impossible to service a grand idea without having enough resources. The world is full of such failed ideas.
So the best thing is to summarize an idea and define it clearly. Also if you can break the idea into smaller parts they become more manageable and easier to plan
After step one , it is important to fit your idea into a general industry segment. For e.g. if you are developing a new kind of Consumer electronics, try to fit it into any industry segment. Doing this would give you insight into industry that you are targeting. Look at the next point now.
Once you know where your product is positioned, you can analyze that segment. A good SWOT analysis of the various competitors in your industry will give you enough knowledge about it. You can then fine tune your idea to further fit into a smaller segment. If your idea is brand new and you have analyzed it well, you could become industry leader in that segment in a few years.
An idea is very likely to be successful if
a) there is a target market which is undiscovered
b) there is a unaddressed area of customer pain point.
Talk to people about your new idea, ask them how would they like it if their pain point is addressed.
Let us take an example, people can buy cinema tickets only from the cinema counters. If you can deliver tickets home , you are addressing a pain point. Be aware of one fact however. People who want their pain points to be addressed might not be willing to pay for your services. In that case there is not much of a target market which is profitable. In that case taking your idea to market may not be a easy thing.
However , the above point may not be always true. In many cases target market developed long after product was launched. So if you have such an idea( where there is not much target market), you might have to wait longer for it to develop. You will also have to utilize resources in an optimum way to keep your business alive till that time. As an example, in rising economies, prosperity usually comes after a lag of five to six years. In the meanwhile, the luxury goods market will be tough to develop. In that case luxury good manufacturers should be prepared for a real long haul.
Once you have done your market research, it is a good idea to develop a plan on how would you manufacture, market, sell and service your product. There is no general rule as every idea is unique. Determine aspects such as financing, government laws, taxation, cost of manufacturing and cost of selling the product.
Try to find a selling price point. Find out if customers are ready to buy your product at such a price. Back calculate your cost to determine if your venture is going to be profitable
Usually the best way to know about demand for a product is from people who are closest to the customer. In many cases, reseller or dealers know about likes and dislikes of a customer and they can point out at the exact gaps in the market where your product can fill in. You can also discover general guidelines, about how much customers are willing to pay for a product of similar kinds from this group.
Once you know all the things about your idea and have a good understanding of industry you are in, it is the time to work towards manufacturing the product. Create a specific plan about how you would build the company/firm that would help you to create and sell your product. Prepare hiring, risk management, vendor management and all other plans required to make your idea real.
A good plan and research can make a difference between taking an idea from inception and getting it into the market. The rest depends on your execution and marketing skills. There also you would need a good plan. Hope you find above points interesting and useful.