The amazing thing about brilliant ideas is that they can come to us at the most unexpected moments. You might have it waking up, taking a shower, having a boring conversation — and there it suddenly is. A solution you’ve never seen before.
You start daydreaming.
What if you could turn this idea into a business? Better yet, what if you could turn this idea into a successful business? What if you could change the world?
You get back to reality.
Do I actually want to turn this idea into a business? How could I do that? Most of all, how do I make sure I’m not wasting my time? What if, even if I try my hardest, I can’t change the world?
You think this isn’t possible.
But it is! It has happened before and it can happen to you. You just need to start.
So, now that you have a business idea, now what?
Evaluate if there’s interest around your type of business idea
This is easy!
You can start by following conversations on social media. Here are a few ideas:
- Use Tweetdeck to follow specific hashtags or phrases
- Read posts and comments people make on Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Look for groups you think might be interested in your idea or search for keywords relevant to your idea
- Go to Reddit and search for posts that mention keywords relevant to your idea. Check the subreddits those were posted in and read the comments
A screenshot of Tweetdeck
And, if you want to go one step further, you can also make a survey using a free service like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, where you can ask specific questions related to your idea.
Can you see what I’m getting at?
Finding out if there is any interest in your idea and who those people might be is an excellent start!
Get your idea down on paper
I don’t literally mean just write it down, but expand on it and think about other details related to it. Think about the problems it solves, how it does so, and who you will be helping.
A great way to start is with a business plan. I know it sounds kind of boring (because it is!) but it’s a great tool to give you some perspective. It can really help validate your idea as fast as possible.
No need to write down a complete business plan. That’s a complete waste of time. I recommend using the Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas templates. They’re focused on the most important aspects of your idea. They’re very visual and you’ll have all the information on just one page.
Business Model Canvas
There are tons of tools out there that’ll let you play around with these templates — some may even let you download them!
We personally love using Miro. Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard that has these templates already built in. One feature I really love (and excessively use!) is adding post-it notes. Super useful!
You can even add digital post-it notes to them! That way you don’t need to go out to buy a board and some post-it notes, very useful.
Filling out these templates and going through the motions will help you decide if your idea could actually turn into a reality and a business.
Smoke out your competition
Even if you think your idea is unique, the chances of similar existing are high.
But don’t get discouraged!
Competition is a good sign because it means that people are willing to pay for a product or service similar to yours.
So how do you uncover your competitors?
Let’s start with an easy solution: Google them! You can simply Google “company that sells X product” or “services that does X.” Google will give you tons of websites and profiles of companies that might provide something similar to what you’re thinking about.
Now, picture a better solution. Introducing iSearch.ai.
iSearch is the best, fastest way to discover your competition and smoke them out! With a quick search, it’ll show you companies and businesses with ideas similar to yours, give you a “uniqueness score”, and find potential overlaps.
It’s an unprecedented (and free!) AI-powered tool.
Once you’re done, you can choose to download a PDF report of your findings. Super simple!
Identify your competition in 3 steps!
There are lots of good reasons to abandon a new idea. Not knowing who your competition is, isn’t one of them.
With iSearch.ai you’ll finally be able to consider whether your idea earns the effort you’re putting into it — and if not, how to replace it with an idea that is.
Build an MVP
Yep, that’s right, an MVP.
Think of building an MVP as a process. An MVP will have just enough features to validate your idea but, pay attention to this, with the lowest effort.
A lot of people think an MVP has to be a fully functional app, but it’s not. You need to get creative!
An MVP can be as simple as a landing page explaining your value proposition with an option to sign up when the product is ready. For example, when we were building our first version of KISSPlatform, we made a simple website using Squarespace with a sign up form at the end.
This simple landing page helped us pitch our idea to different audiences like possible investors, my LinkedIn connections, and to our community.
Building an MVP has many benefits:
Benefits of an MVP
The most important thing when building an MVP is to know what you want to validate. So, for example, at this stage, you might just want to validate interest. But, if we were thinking about a more developed idea, you might want to test usability, payability, or many other things.
Define what you want to validate and the rest will follow.
And, if you’d like to know more or less how much it would cost to build a more “professional” MVP, check out Build My MVP where you can choose the features you imagine your MVP would have!
At some point, you need to get real feedback.
Like we mentioned before, we used an MVP to show our idea to people. This not only helped us improve our pitch but it also helped us improve our idea in itself.
You might think your idea is the best but you’ll never know if somebody else finds it valuable if you don’t share it. Remember that it’s important to protect your idea before fully sharing it or publishing it. Learn more about that here.
Find people that will have good insights.
Try to talk briefly about your idea and get some feedback. Feedback will make your idea stronger. You’ll also get a sense of the kind of objections people might have about it.
Be open, you might hear things you don’t like, but it’ll all help improve your idea with comments and reactions from your audience.
It doesn’t matter if you want to start big or small, you need to start. Now.
Maybe you choose to start with one of the ideas we just shared with you, maybe you’ll try all of them. The important thing is that you get moving.
If you don’t do anything with your idea, the chances of somebody else coming up with it and then doing something about it are high. So take a chance, start building the extraordinary!
There’s only one difference between the ideas that saw the light and the ones that didn’t: somebody had the guts to start.