The enthusiasm from a ‘lightbulb’ moment can certainly be encouraging enough for you to throw your money at what you anticipate to be the best invention since sliced bread. However, if you don’t know how to evaluate the worth of an idea, or how to successfully execute it, you are guaranteed to waste your time, money, and willpower. Here are eight steps that will help you come up with ideas, choose the right one, and successfully pursue it.
Spark Great Ideas
To get started on an idea, you need a great idea to begin with. Here’s three tried and true techniques to get your creative juices flowing:
- The Longhand Brainstorm. Pick a problem you are passionate about solving and allow yourself ten minutes to write out as many solutions as possible. Don’t stop to read what you’ve written until the timer stops. Simply empty your mind.
- Escape your usual scene. Getting caught up in daily routine makes it impossible to see from a different perspective. Step outside your schedule and check out the latest event in town, or maybe take a walk through a park you haven’t seen. These new experiences will stimulate your mind to think more openly.
- Journal - it’s simple, but still effective. Keeping a pen and paper on you at all times isn’t just a convenience to take note when inspiration strikes, it’s a way to make searching for ideas a habit. What should you be jotting down? Anything out of the ordinary. These scribbles will make for great resources when developing valuable ideas.
Choose Three Ideas
List all of your ideas on a whiteboard or large piece of paper (something to visualise) and choose your best three. What makes an idea valuable? You should be able to make a big difference with it both strategically and economically over the next 12 months. If this is possible, it is worth starting on immediately.
The other ideas that didn’t make your top three - get rid of them, all of them. It is vital to focus our attention on your chosen ideas and not to be distracted by what may have appeared more exciting, but not as successful.
Now that you have solid ideas, ask yourself - has this been done before? It’s likely that a similar idea has already been developed, which makes it essential that you carry out market research to compare and analyse competitors. It’s a cost-free way to study what was successful that you can replicate and do better, as well as what failed and how to navigate around it.
Plan & Prioritize
It’s easy to be consumed by an idea you’re passionate about and lose track of the initial goals you aimed for. Before you begin your project, ensure you have a plan in place with set goals. From these targets you must decide what is of low, medium, and high priority. This all comes down to your budget and time allowance. Prioritizing your targets can mean the difference between sinking or keeping afloat.
Regular Accountability Meetings
Who is going to hold you accountable to your priorities if not yourself? To achieve success you must hold regular accountability meetings. If you want to maintain utmost control over your project, daily statistic-driven meetings are necessary. Analytics enable you to track progress and understand what needs more work, so that you can refocus your use of resources.
As a businessperson it is critical to have an open mind if you want to gain a multi-faceted dimension of perspectives. Having the ability to see from different angles allows you to foresee future problems, as well as anticipate what could generate success. Collaborating with colleagues is a great way to gain valuable insight that will change the way you think.
Measuring your progress is a must, but at the end of the day it’s your customers/clients that should remain the integral focus. How they receive and react to your idea should be the reason for your actions and any change in movement. Ideas are ultimately created as someone’s solution, and that ideology should remain the common goal among all tasks and strategies.
Whether you’re looking to start-up a business, revive an existing one, or bring new ideas to your current position, considering your steps in the pursual of a new idea is critical. What you should take away from this is the significance of every movement; from the moment you develop an idea, through to the planning and execution. If you take a smart, open-minded approach and follow these eight steps, you will be able to set up a reliable foundation for a successful venture.