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“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

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So you have a great idea…now what?

First, it’s time to get a better sense of what makes it great. Is a great idea something that no one else thought of and YOU know will make money with ease? Hmmm, that seems very short sighted, but by default many of us think that way.  So, while we may be excited about business concepts that “come” to us in the middle of the night or discussion with friends, that momentary thrill does not make the idea great.

I was inspired to rename my landscaping business “Avatar Landscapes” after seeing the movie Avatar.  Business cards were made, however the name’s luster wore out after a couple weeks – as I suddenly remembered I was transitioning out of the Landscaping business. We can get even more excited once we refine and test ideas, and then put the refined ideas into action.

And, the validation that comes when you get positive feedback from your potential market will carry you through the trials at the beginning, knowing that people want what you are creating. Ideas are the easy part.  Everyone has them, and someone has probably had the same idea as you.  You can easily search Google for your idea to get a sense if anyone else is acting on it.   Also, you can check the US Patent Office.  Refining and validating ideas is what can separates the good from the bad, and sets up your business for success.

Get help from the following service:

MyCorporation – Have them conduct a trademark search, register your DBA and more

Techniques for “Making it”

Go Means Approved Action To Run Immediately

List it –  Write out a long list of ideas, or keep a running list.   Let them marinate for days or weeks, but keep them somewhere you can see them.  You’ll soon weed out the good from the bad.  If you need more ideas, checkout Springwise or better yet, checkout Hidden Business Ideas.

What does your neighbor think? Discuss your ideas with friends, Family, Mentors…Email your contact list.  Use Social media.  Are you exited when discussing the idea? Are people inspired to support you?  You can easily conduct surveys and email campaigns using Constant Contact.

Talk to the Pro’s –    Finding professionals who are in your industry will make a difference.  Talk to potential suppliers, competitors and customers of competitors.   Linked In Groups are ideal for this type of research and refining.   Go to Linked In and use their search to find groups related to your idea.  Save time and learn how to network with high profile individuals by using Linkedin Influence. “Talking to suppliers can tell you a great deal about how your industry works, which product lines are selling off the shelves, and why some companies are more successful at marketing their products than others”, states  Jim Sapp, Author of Starting your First Business.

Become a customer of your competitors – Better yet, listen to their customers better than they do.  Customer service has gone public, just take a look at Company pages on Facebook and Twitter.   Get to know your potential customers intimately, and find out what turns them on…and off.

Conduct a Rough Financial Calculation –   If there’s a will, there’s a way…but are you getting into 1, 10 or 100 years of poverty?  Many ideas can be eliminated by doing some cursory math, and seeing that they just aren’t going to pay for themselves…ever.

Need help coming up with ideas, or need more?  Simply answer these questions:

  1. What do you like to do in your free time?
  2. What have you been passionate about in the last month?
  3. What do you know more about than your neighbor?
  4. What problems do you hear people discussing…or what are their pain points?
  5. The bigger the problem sovled, the bigger the paycheck.  This is another place to put your ear to the ground of social media and see what problems people “chirp” about.

Other Great places for Ideas:

Springwise has an interactive idea resource segmented by interest.

Emergency Cash Generators is an entertaining book to get your ideas flowing.  My favorite idea  from the book is, “how to make money every time it rains.”

Hidden Business Ideas is another great book, here’s an excerpt, “How to profit by delivering an awkward message (issue 7, p.12)”

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