Before you can begin any entrepreneurial journey you need to come up with the concept. The concept of what you want to do. This is your big idea, the thing that is going to make you a million bucks. Well, that’s the idea anyway.
If you’re any kind of entrepreneur, you will probably be getting a new idea every 5 minutes. But the truth is not all good ideas are going to work. There will good ones and some really bad ideas. The following is my process for working through any idea, to see if you have something that you can work with.
The first question you ask myself is: What are you doing this for? And Does it fit with your long goals? These are important questions, because if you’re going to do something, you need to do it right, and you want to be there for the long haul. You don’t want to get half way through your new idea, only to discover that it is not what you want to do.
The next question is: Do you have time for this now? This is important because, if you already have a bunch of things you are doing already, then you really need to slow down. Ask yourself the first question again. (What are you doing this for?) Then, finish the things you have going on right now, before starting something new.
If you clear these two questions, then you are right to continue the rest of the process.
Write your idea down on a piece of paper, (not digital) and carry it around with you. When you meet people, ask them what they think of your idea, hopefully they will be asking you questions and you think about things a bit more from another person’s perspective. Maybe your idea may change. Take out the paper and change things slightly as you speak with people about your idea. This will help you refine the idea and make it better, or tell you outright that it’s terrible.
When you have an idea, the next thing is to do a few checks and balances to find out if your idea is going to have commercial potential, because there’s a big difference between setting up a website and building a profitable business. The website is just a marketing channel. So, you need to put in place some research filters where you can go and check certain things to make sure that there is money there.
Are you alone with your Idea?
“Is there already somebody doing it?” That’s a great check. If someone’s already doing it what can you learn from that? If no one is doing it, there must be a reason!
So, you would like to see someone doing it and even more exciting is if there is competition and if there is a number of people doing it. One of the simple checks that anyone can do in about a minute is go to Google and type in your idea and see if there are any advertisements running down the right-hand side of the page, because if there are advertisements, there is money here.
So, if you were to go and type “weight Loss” or “how to get a business diploma” or something. You will see advertisements. There are markets where people spend money and there are consumers and somebody is making a profit.
If you go to your phrase, if you type it in and there’s nothing on that right-hand column, if there’s no advertisements, you need to be concerned.
Is somebody doing it? Are there people advertising? If there is, that’s a tremendous sign.
So, you would generally open up a new file and start making a few notes. If you want, go and look at the top sites that come up from the Google listings and go and see what they’re doing.
You know, Look and see what’s their business model? What they’re actually doing and then go and see how popular their site, is by going to a site called Alexa.com. This site has an information section that will tell us what the popularity is, in what country and what type of audience it has.
What we’re really interested in is the ones who are naturally listed in Google, for them to be listed on the first page of Google there’s something happening there and they are doing something right because what Google is telling us is it’s the most relevant.
Now, if it’s already covered by a lot of people they could potentially become partners for you later on down the track. If there is nobody there and there’s no one advertising I’d actually move on to the next idea.
The internet tells you everything you need to know. Is there someone doing this? Are their advertisements? When you go to Alexa.com for the best ranked site who is the audience? It actually tells you the demographic. It tells you the age, the sex, the education level.
It’s a huge profound concept because once you understand that you never have to guess, it’s all there and you can actually translate and interpret it, find out all about the competition in about five minutes.
If you concept shows promise, you need to move to the next phase, and think about how you can execute your idea or concept, different and better than the competition. This means more research…