A business idea succeeds if it stands out, competes in its market and solves a problem. That’s why it’s important to develop the idea effectively, so it fulfills expectations.
Clearly, you need much more than an idea to launch a business. Below are some things to consider when developing that idea that won’t let you sleep:
- Find a problem
You may have a tremendous idea for a business, but in reality, what you need is a problem to solve. Sebastian Vidal, executive director of the startup incubator Parallel18, suggests finding a problem that is worth solving and that directly affects private or public entities and society.
If you still haven’t decided, start here: A study by the financial analysis firm Sageworks, found that among the best industries to launch a business are e-commerce, software publishing, computer system design and security services, as well as consulting and services in the engineering, architecture, sciences, management and communications industries.
- Research the market
Many people have had your idea. It is time to research it fully, not only in Puerto Rico, but to see what is being done in other countries to solve the same problem.
“Markets are global so your research should be done thoroughly and with an international perspective. There could be 10 solutions around the world that do the same thing you want to do. However, don’t lose hope. This is a sign that there is a market in your field and your idea is valid,” Vidal added.
For example, if your idea revolves around renewable energy, look for cases in countries where successful initiatives have been developed – such as Switzerland, Denmark or Costa Rica – to see which solutions have been introduced and how they were implemented. You can even go further: contact the people who launched those projects and learn how their experience can support your idea.
- Determine what differentiates you
What makes you different? It’s time to answer that question. “You should discover the unique element that characterizes you. Look at your previous work experience, for example. What skills did you learn there that makes your business idea different?” he said.
Remember that the things that differentiate you are what make your business idea interesting and relevant.
- Put together your dream team
As an entrepreneur, you should not take lightly the selection of your team. These people will be your allies in developing your idea. Consider people from various cultural and business backgrounds and give yourself the opportunity to rely on a multi-disciplinary team.
“Ask yourself what abilities your partner should have and which ones you should have,” Vidal explained. Think honestly about your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are creative but you need help in the management area. Don’t expect to do everything. Let others help implement your idea in the areas where you need support.
- Identify potential customers
In these economically challenging times, being an entrepreneur requires commitment and perseverance. Now is the time to make the calls and confirm that the problem you initially identified exists and that customers want to solve it, he suggested.
Ask for advice: through social media, you can find specialized groups that can help you contact people in the field you want to enter.
- Time to test
A pilot plan can be used to visualize if your business has an entry into the market and if there are people willing to acquire your product or service. This pilot plan should have a minimum investment so you don’t spend too much in the beginning and, at the same time, you can validate your idea, Vidal emphasized.
Vidal gave as an example a bakery that wants to launch a new product. Before producing in quantity, the bakery places the product in its display window and evaluates whether it attracts customers. “The owners of the business want to be sure that the product will catch on as well as how much money they will have to invest. This is when you use a test,” he commented.
- Analyze your mistakes and adjust as needed
After having developed your business idea, do a self-analysis to establish where there were mistakes that require a new look, more resources or a change.
Now is the time to eliminate what doesn’t work and bring your idea to life. If it turns out your idea is successful, now is the time to develop it and launch your product or service on the market.