This is the third ‘Startup Techniques’ blog posting on creating and moving your own Winning Startup Idea into the real world. The first posting “Startup Techniques: Creating Your New Business Idea” included techniques to create your own winning startup idea and the second post “Startup Techniques: Qualifying Your New Business Idea (2)” gave some tips on how to qualify the idea to make sure it’s really the one that you should be investing your heart, soul and time on.
So what do I do next when moving a Winning Startup idea forward? If the idea has really grabbed me my temptation is to start figuring out all of the pieces that are needed to move it from idea to real business. To start thinking about the people I’ll need to find, figuring out how to test the idea, how much money it’s going to need and the 101 other elements. It’s at about this time when you need to figure out a few things before you start getting carried away.
Normally at the top of my list is how do I fit in with this idea?
For a product let’s consider just a few of the different steps in the process from idea to real product:
- Developing product drawings (Engineering Skills)
- Developing a prototype (Engineering)
- Prototype testing (Engineering)
- Determining how to produce it in larger quantities (Engineering)
- Testing the Market (Marketing)
- Determining Price Point considering the margins required by the sales channel (Marketing)
- Sanity checking the numbers (Production costs vs. price point to sales channel) (Finance)
- Understanding and selling the product into the sales channel (Sales)
- Marketing the product to retailers and the end consumer (Marketing)
- Managing the invoicing, customer service, tracking cash (Finance etc)
These are just a few broad steps on the road to making a product idea real. This list is by no means all inclusive. The point here is that there are multiple component parts necessary to build a business whether it’s a product, service or website. When you are sure this idea is the one, begin to map out what the idea needs and to overlay that with your own strengths and capabilities. This will act as a pointer for you ~ it should help make obvious who you will need to find to join the team either actually or virtually.
Thankfully whether your winning startup idea is a product, service or website there are some relatively fixed ‘categories’ that need to be considered whatever the business. Here are some of the key categories and a few thought jogging questions, there are many more:
- What are their needs?
- What are they prepared to pay for? How Much?
- How do they buy products like this? A store / website / telephone / television?
- Where do customers currently buy or go to use products like this?
- What products or services do they offer?
- How much do they charge?
- How do they sell and market their products?
- How many competitors are there?
- What does it need to do?
- How will it be much better than what the competition offer?
- Who can prototype and build it?
- How much does it cost to produce?
- What is necessary to produce it?
- Who will produce it?
- Where will you sell this product?
- Who will sell it for you?
- How will you pay them? Salary or commission or both? Yes, there are sales people who will work for just commission (Blog Post to come)
- How does it meet the customer need?
- How is it better than what the competition offers?
- How much can we reasonably charge?
- Are we looking for volume of customers or a select group of customers?
- What do customers need to know that will make them want to buy it?
- What are the ways to tell potential customers about the product?
- How much do they cost?
- Are there any ways of telling potential customers about the products cheaply?
Some of these questions may not work for your idea but most should. As you go through them more questions should pop up. And don’t worry if you don’t know all of the answers, you won’t. Fact. But you will probably be able to make some really educated guesses in the areas that relate to your personal strengths and won’t have a clue in those areas that are too far out of your own skills and experiences ~ another good pointer the types of people you will need to flesh out the idea and really start the tactical planning of “How to Launch Your Winning Startup Idea”. But again, that is the subject of another blog posting.
I hope this posting helps. Again, questions, comments, relevant rude remarks always welcome and ‘Yes’ this posting could have included much more, in fact, it could have gone on for at least another 50,000 words but like most entrepreneurs I have a tendency towards ADD. Let me know where I should dive deeper and I’ll do my best!
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