Great businesses and ground-breaking innovations started with an idea. Ideas are the bedrock for which global advancements occur.
The world is always in need of ideas that will foster change and transform lives. People constantly have ideas, but only a few work on them. If you’ve decided to execute your ideas, you’ve made the right decision.
You might be wondering, how will you transform this idea into something profitable or a functioning business? Here are seven tips to help transform your idea into a functional business.
1. Understand the problem you are solving
The secret behind the success of any business is the problem they are solving. It is easy to get carried away by fantastic ideas and forget that they are supposed to be specific to solving a problem.
You might be thinking that you have a solution, but do you know what the problem is? You should be able to identify at least one problem your idea will solve for people.
For example, many fashionable clothes are trending but are not comfortable; your fashion idea can be addressing the problem of discomfort while remaining stylish.
2. Take purposeful actions
It involves creating a brand image, a marketing team, and strategy, reaching out to customers, and releasing your product or service to your target audience. This also means finding out the cost to register a business and getting it done as soon as possible. An idea remains virtual and free for all until you act on it.
3. Research your market and target audience
After understanding the problem, you should be able to identify the people that have this problem. Those people make up your target market.
Research how the common problem affects them, what they’ve used to address it, how effective their previous solutions were, and what they are willing to pay for a perfect solution.
Do a detailed investigation on the previous solution, why it did not meet their needs (what was lacking), and how you can improve on them. If your target market is not familiar with your idea, figure out ways to make it compelling to them.
Your target audience is not everyone in the market; build a representation of your ideal customer. Consider their age group, occupation, residential location, habits, likes, and dislikes. It will help you create a solution and a marketing strategy focused on the ideal customer.
4. Develop a financial model
A financial model consists of how you plan to create your product or service, your marketing strategy, and sales to the target audience; correlate them with a financial estimate (expense and income).
It will help you know how your business will function. To effectively develop a model, you should also determine the size of your market and the number of customers you need to make a profit.
5. Find mentors and supporters
Planning a business is not easy and can get discouraging at some point. To avoid giving up on your idea, you need mentors and supporters.
Look for people that have created a similar business, experts in your industry, marketers, financially savvy people for advice and aid. You can get a life coach or a positive person for encouragement. Sometimes the support you need is business partners. They can help improve your idea and provide financial aid like investors.
6. Create a service or product prototype and test
Creating a prototype of your service or product allows you to complete a feasibility study of your idea. When you create a prototype, you’ll have first-hand information of the labor and finance going into your business idea.
To know the viability of your product or service, you need to test it among a selected group of audience (focus group). Let them give you feedback on how effective the product or service is in solving their problems and how you can improve on it.
Testing will also enlighten you on how you can introduce the product or service to the market. Every piece of information you gather from the prototype creation and testing will help pitch to investors. If the prototype creation and testing did not turn out well, you need to modify your idea and start the process again.
7. Plan funding
No business can exist and thrive without capital. There are different ways to get funds, and you need to consider your options carefully for the beneficial way. Depending on your business plan and financial model, some sources of income are more feasible than others.
Entrepreneurs will advise that you bootstrap (self-fund), especially at the starting stage of the business. Other sources of income can come from loans, crowdfunding, bartering, and small business grants.
The processes involved in converting your idea to a functional business can be challenging. With perseverance and dedication, you can achieve it. You should be open to adaptation and improvements for your business sustainability in the competitive market.