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It’s 4:00 AM, and that notebook of ideas on your bedside is filled with mediocre concepts. There’s probably a billion dollars of ideas in there. Sheer genius.
Today is different.
You’ve got it. The one. It’s brilliant.
You can’t sleep. It’s the aha moment you’ve been waiting for. You pull out your computer, and feverishly Google for the concept. Nothing. Zero results. OMG…Did you just hit the lottery?
Bentleys, private jets, meetings with Mark Cuban, buying your friends and family EVERYTHING. You’re on your way.
Now, before leaving your job, and call a family meeting, it’s extremely important to review these 5 questions we’ve put together. If you cannot answer these questions, stop…take a few deep breaths…and tweak your idea until you can fully answer these questions with unwavering confidence:
What common problem does your idea solve?
99% of the time, your idea or product needs to solve a common problem. Whether your business will be a new bar and restaurant, the concept must solve a problem for a specific demographic with specific interests. Wherever this product is to be launched, do your market research. And trust us, asking your mother if she likes your ideas is the wrong type of market research.
Do you have a written business plan or marketing plan?
Many business owners have come to our office without a written marketing plan or business plan. Although we are a creative agency, and thrive on unrestricted brainstorming sessions, it’s important to set a rubric for oneself. As with many entrepreneurs we have met, one thing is very common… self-diagnosed ADD.
Entrepreneurs are dreamers. They challenge themselves to see the big picture. This can quickly become a problem if the entrepreneur is unable to focus and execute a defined plan, measure the results, tweak, and execute again. It’s this “fail to improve to fail again” approach, or perseverance, that really builds a business.
Are you willing and able to afford this new venture?
Every idea needs money to execute. That’s a given. Hopefully you’ve outlined the exact amount you’d need in your business plan. However, you must be willing to afford sacrifice from friends, family, get-togethers, etc. As entrepreneurs with “the next big idea,” it’s easy to obsess on the result: SUCCESS. This obsession allows entrepreneurs to alienate themselves from personal relationships. So, if you currently have a rocky relationship with your significant other or family…hold on. It’s about to get rockier. All these unstable relationships will inevitably resonate to your business.
Do your friends and family support you?
With any great idea, it’s important to explain your idea to your friends and family. Don’t sell the idea to them. After all, they love you. They won’t hold you back from accomplishing your dreams. However, feedback is important.
We all have that friend or relative we can ask if we look bad, made a poor decision, etc, and will receive unfiltered feedback 100% of time. Review your idea with THAT friend.
Additionally, this would be a good time to explain the sacrifice you’re about to embark upon, and the importance their support for the next several years…and what it really means to you.
Can you live outside your comfort zone?
Be prepared to do things that you don’t like. For many budding entrepreneurs, we feel we are restricted by money. However, if we could afford to hire a janitor, administrative assistant, HR department, creative team, engineers, etc, we wouldn’t grow and innovate. Innovation comes from struggle. It’s the struggle that every entrepreneur lives through at some point in his/her life. As with many things in life, the importance of the struggle isn’t the struggle itself…it’s how you adapt to overcome.
Now, remember, if you couldn’t answer these questions, stop. Don’t give up on yourself or your idea…take a few deep breaths…and tweak your idea until you can fully answer these questions with unwavering confidence.
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