The most creative part in owning a business is coming up with something new to offer the public. It can be a fun task, yet a difficult one. Whether you are coming up with a new business or a new product, this simple guide can help you decide what you can offer, when it’s the best time to put it out there and if you should trash the idea altogether.
- 1. First instinct matters. If something seems like a good idea right away, you may be on to something. When that “aha moment” hits you, you know you have come up with something special. Rationalizing how you came up with the idea can be difficult, but that’s the beauty of it. If you feel it in your gut that you have a winning idea, stick to your guns and don’t let naysayers convince you that it’s silly.
- 2. Is it on demand? Now that you have an idea for a business/ product, you need to know if it fits in the market. Is this new idea something people have been waiting for? And let’s say it’s not on demand, can you create a demand for it? When you are introducing a new product/service to the world, you have to be able to convince people that they should buy it. The new idea should be marketable, and people should be just as excited about it as you are. TIP: Research all the companies out there that are similar to yours. Are they liked or disliked by the public? If those companies have a good name, you can easily get your foot in the door with your similar product. However, those same companies will be your biggest competition!
- 3. Find out who and what you will need to create the idea. Now that you know what you want to create, you have to find out how much money it will cost to make it. You also should find out who you will need to help you create it. Make sure you can afford it. When someone is creating anything new, it is important to be as frugal as possible. Spend as little money as you can, and try your best not to be wasteful. TIP: If you need help creating the idea, you have to add the cost of paying someone to help you, plus the cost of the equipment you will need to make the product. If the product or business is something simple, you may save more money if you learned to start it up alone.
- 4. Develop a financial goal. How much money do you want to make from this new idea over the next six months? Once you have an idea of how much money you want this product/service to generate, you have to come up with a plan on how you are actually going to make the money. That brings us to the next tip…
- 5. Develop a marketing plan. It’s time to promote your new idea! One of the best ways to market a new product is to send out free samples. Cheap tactics such as hanging/passing out flyers always work. Make sure you are marketing your product to the people that are most likely to want or need your services. Even after your idea starts booming, NEVER STOP MARKETING. It’s the lifeline to your business. TIP: Once the product/service is on the market, you should at least break even at first. Sometimes it takes a little while to truly make a good profit, but if you are not breaking even, you are losing money and you may need to stop investing in that particular idea.
Almost every idea is a good idea, but you must start it at the right time. Economists recommend two important tips. One is to pay attention to what’s on demand (which we already mentioned) and the other is to pay attention to economic trends. A service that booms in a good economy may not boom in a bad economy. Make sure your products/services are consistent with what shoppers want and need, and how much they can and cannot afford.
Good luck on your business endeavors and hang in there!