Great Ideas Are Easy, Great Execution Is Hard
Many of us have a notebook of inventions, the next awesome app, or even scraps of the Great American Novel floating around. Ideas are great, because they don’t cost anything. Plus, to get more, all you have to do is think. Once you’ve got that great idea fleshed out, what’s the next step?
Remarkably, the idea is certain to be the easiest part of getting your business off the ground. How you approach the next steps in the process truly determines the success of the project. So, be prepared to put in a lot of thought, hard work, and money into making your idea a reality.
Put it on Paper
Talking about an idea is good start, but writing it down is key. We don’t mean on the back of a napkin in a coffee shop; we mean putting all the details down on paper, the financials, the goals, the product concepts. It’s all important and worth getting it onto a page.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, ideas are much more likely to be taken seriously when they progress from “I had this thought” and arrive in “Look at this outline.” Second, in terms of potential investors, there is comfort in the tangible, so even if your ideas aren’t complete, something in writing is reassuring.
Clarify the Concept
Work out as many of the unsolved questions as possible. At this point, it’s a good idea to think about your product or service at its core. Make sure the basic idea is complete and simple enough to understand, so that you can answer what it’s about in one sentence or less.
At this stage, it’s good to notice if there are too many holes in the project or if people aren’t as stoked as you are. Issues of uncertainty can be a sign the idea might not be the right one, or you need to rethink what you’re after.
Concentrate on Details, But Not too Much
Even if working out the details is only for yourself, a clear and concise plan is always a good idea. Don’t embarrass yourself or investors by not knowing enough about your own product. When the answer to a question is “I hadn’t thought of that”, you’ve got a lot more work to do.
That being said, it’s okay to adjust and readjust details throughout the process. Don’t be a victim to inflexibility and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Don’t wait until after the launch to see where the product lands; make some noise so it lands where you want. This means building a brand the product or service during its concept stages.
Do the necessary market research, create a good story and put the hype in the right minds. It’s a lot of work, but an invisible marketing plan catches no one’s eye.
Realize that you’re ready and don’t wait for some mystical sign. All the preparation work is important, but it’s impossible to be ready for everything. Don’t let hypothetical concerns hold you back. Launch with an open mind and a willingness to listen and adjust.
You’ve launched your product, now just let the bucks roll in. Eh… not quite. It’s time to improve it, watch the response, readjust, and continue to wow your customers through hard work. You do have our permission to celebrate a little bit though.