I was talking with some friends the other day, and one of them asked me how I know when a business idea is really good. As I started to answer him, I began thinking about how great ideas go through three basic phases and how taking the time to see each phase through can save you a ton of time and help you come up with a lot more great entrepreneurial ideas (while getting rid of the duds). See if either of these scenarios sounds familiar…
You have a great idea for a new product, service, or business model. At first you’re sure it’s going to be a huge success, but then doubt starts to set in. You start to question whether you’ve actually come up with a brilliant idea that’ll be really profitable or whether you’re about to waste a lot of people’s time and money on something that doesn’t have any real market value.
You want to start a business, and you know you have the work ethic and creativity to do it, but you can’t seem to come up with any good ideas. You had one, but as soon as you sat down to write your business plan, you saw a link to almost exactly the same product already for sale online.
If either of these situations sounds familiar, then you could definitely benefit from a better understanding of the three phases of a business idea. So let’s talk about how you can come up with more and better ideas, and then how you can be sure that they’re good ideas, too.
THE BRAINSTORMING PHASE
First of all, if you’re trying to come up with a great business idea, but you’re having trouble, then you might be stopping yourself before you get started. In the first phase, say yes to everything. In fact, tell the word “no” to take a hike until you’re done brainstorming.
Now, start thinking about all of the business ideas or even bits and pieces of ideas that you can. Write them down, even the ones that seem completely ridiculous. A ridiculous idea that can’t possibly make any money might spark another idea that could make you your first million (or more). So, during this phase, say yes to everything and try to get as far outside the box as possible. You never know what you’ll think of when you’re not limiting yourself and your creativity.
THE CRITIQUE PHASE
A good brainstorming session (which could last days or weeks, so be patient) will almost always yield what seems like a great idea that really catches your attention. Now you will find out if your idea really is as good as you think it is because this is the phase when you get skeptical. Go over every way you can think of that your idea will fail. Research your market. Ask friends and family where they see weaknesses in the idea. Then go and ask some strangers. The more skeptical feedback you get at this point, the better, because it’ll show you how well your idea stands up.
If your idea doesn’t make it through the critique phase, then it’s time to go back to brainstorming. If it does, it’s time to start building your brand and your empire. This phase involves writing your business plan, talking to investors, hiring talent, and getting your business going.
To learn more about all of these phases and the processes involved with them, register for a seminar at www.DaymondJohnsSuccessFormula.com