6 steps to turn your idea into a viable business opportunity

by Volodymyr Varyvoda
UI/UX Expert

February 8, 2018

Not all great ideas can be converted into a functional, sustainable business. How to ensure that your idea will benefit customers and is not going to deplete your and your investors’ time and money? To make sure an idea is not just another trend ‘bubble’, you need to develop a business plan, conduct market research of your competitors and your target audience, develop a monetisation strategy, and get the right staff on board. The following steps will help you to make your idea a reality.

Planning

Laying the groundwork and identifying the necessary steps to execute your idea will bring you closer to achieving your vision. Start with brainstorming on a piece of paper. The more thoughts and ideas are written down, the better. Then create an action plan for your product or service and divide each item into sections. Despite the fact that there are countless options, writing down your plan forces you to think it through, helps to structure your thoughts, and to develop a clearer picture of what you wish to achieve.

Goals

Setting objectives is a significant part of the planning process. Goals describe what you want to achieve and help you to find the best way to your desired result. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) setting process is an effective way of placing and achieving your business goals. A specific goal eases the planning process, whereas a measurable goal keeps everyone engaged and on track. Prioritising the tasks your company must achieve during a given period will help to streamline your operation. It is vital that the objectives you set can be accomplished based on the current state of your business and employees.

Competition

Observing your competitors on a global scale is your first step to success. Pay attention to both their wins and their mistakes. That will help to objectively evaluate your idea, as well as provide valuable insights on how to stand out. SWOT analysis is usually used to examine a competitive landscape during the preliminary stages of market research. It is a structured planning method that evaluates strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a company, project, or an idea.

Target Audience

Understanding the market you are in is one of the most critical stages of executing your idea. You need to have a clear image of how your product or service is going to solve your consumers’ problems. Conduct the preliminary research of your market by defining your target audience’s gender, age, location, profession, etc. Continue developing your ‘Buyer Persona’ by interviewing representatives of your target audience. Information gathered will give you valuable insight into your ideal customer needs, motivations, goals.

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Map of Empathy

The map of empathy, created by Dave Gray, is a tool that helps to not only determine who your ideal customers are but also gain a deeper understanding of how they are going to behave. Understanding how your end-user thinks and makes decisions not only helps to create an excellent user experience but aids the development of a product that exceeds your customer’s expectations.

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Monetisation

Working out how an idea can make money is one of the most important parts of your product or service development process. It can not only set the direction your business will take, but also determine the product or service itself.

Your sales strategy will have to change depending on the product or service you are planning to sell and your ‘buyer personas’. You can utilise the information from your target audience research to create targeted social media campaigns, use paid advertising, and start producing content that would be of value to your demographic.

People

The key to properly executing an idea lies in three core areas: people, strategy, and operations. A well-chosen team is essential to any organisation’s success. People are the ones who react to market changes. People create strategies based on their analysis and translate these strategies into the real world. A project is much more likely to perform well when people who work on it are working towards a shared purpose, sharing their perspectives, skills, and experience. Good teamwork creates synergy – where the combined effect of the team is greater than the sum of individual efforts.