So do you have an idea or a business? The right answer should be both. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many great ideas sputter out or never take off. I’ve even helped to design and develop some of those products. The problem I always thought was the founder not having the drive, maybe not enough money, or a myriad of other issues. However, as I’ve gone through my career, I have met people with lots of drive and no direction, people who could have found or raised capital but had no plan. The real commonality between almost every failed startup and entrepreneur was not having the right blueprint for success, a plan and roadmap from idea through successful launch and to a great 10 year goal. So let’s talk about why having a business is just as important as the idea, and how we make that happen.
Two Keys to Profit
There are two keys to having a successful and profitable idea. The first key is having a marketable idea. Doesn’t matter if it’s a product or service, just make sure it’s a marketable idea. There are tons of great ideas out there, but they aren’t all marketable. There are also ideas that you may think are terrible, but there’s a market for them. The second key is where I think a lot of inventors and startups fail, business.
It all starts with an idea. Having an idea is great and can be fun to think about. Ideas are the core of every single successful movement, product, business, and person. Ideas aren’t actually hard to come by. Before you say “but they are for me”, let me ask you to try an experiment. Get a handful of legos and make something random. Just connect them all together.
Now that you are back from that, congratulations! You’ve created something original, a new idea. It just happens to be a configuration of lego pieces that were selected at random and randomly put together. The chances of that exact thing being made by someone else who didn’t see you do it is practically zero.
Ideas are everywhere, they come to you at odd times, or regularly. Generating ideas is like using a muscle. It’s always there, you just might be a bit out of practice.
The second key here is business. Every idea without a business is like a person going to the moon without a rocket. The business is the vehicle that launches the product and brings you to your goal. This first starts with you having a goal.
Creating a business without a goal is just an expense. Creating a business with a goal and an idea is the recipe for success. Whether you are creating a service or a product, you need a business. You need a 10 year goal that drives you. A reason to find a raise capital if needed. A vehicle to capture, manage, and use that capital. Whether it’s your own money, money raised privately, borrowed from banks, or done in a real capital raising rounds of investment doesn’t matter.
Planning is key to your success. Start with a 10 year goal and work backwards. That is then your business plan. With a business plan you have a road map for how you will get to your goal. If you need, find people who can help you with your idea.
Starting a business sounds more scary than having an idea. It can be. Here’s a great Forbes article about how 90% of startups fail, and why, by Neil Patel. While that sounds scary, keep in mind lots of startups don’t approaching building it as a business with a long term goal. Profit and short term goals don’t get you places, long term goals do.
Now go and start thinking about your idea as a business and create that 10 year goal. Then you’ll be ready to talk to my firm, or find your own team, and bring your product to life.