It’s a spark. It’s a little intoxicating. You have a great idea, and suddenly you can see how it would turn into a useful, engaging, profitable business. Then, chances are, the intoxication wears off and you carry on, hoping for another spark. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Write it down and sleep on it. Is it still a good idea? Are you still excited by it? A little investigation will help flesh out whether the product or service already exists. Maybe that’s OK. Maybe you’re improving on an existing system. Athletic shoes existed long before anyone thought of putting rubber soles on them, but once they did, those innovators were running away with billions. There was clear need and an eager market, and that need wound up coinciding with—and maybe sparking—a global interest in elite and everyday fitness. The shoemakers’ idea wasn’t just a great idea—it was the right idea for its time.
That said, there are a lot of seemingly great ideas that might not make it. Maybe the time isn’t right. Maybe the idea isn’t practical. Maybe it would require more resources than you’re willing to commit. Maybe you wake up, read what you’ve written, and decide you aren’t excited by it anymore.
But let’s say you’ve hit on a great idea that is in fact the right idea for its time. Hey, that’s exciting. What’s next?
An idea like shoe soles is pretty concrete (if you’ll excuse the pun). But generally, great business ideas start off messy. You need to strip away unnecessary elements, simplify as much as possible, and find a laser focus. What is the root of what you want to do? Once you know that, you can build out as far as makes sense.
Now you can start truly investigating. Where would this fit in the market, who will want it, and what will it cost to start up? Is this a team effort, or will you go it alone? What are the pros and cons of each step of your plan? Write all this down. Get as far into the weeds as you can, but make sure you can find your way out.
Once you’re sure you have great idea that can find a place in the market, start investing real time and energy. What are your short- and long-term goals? What resources will you need to start up? What laws and regulations will you need to navigate to incorporate? Taking these organizational steps aren’t just important for your company’s long-term viability, they’re also a clear sign that you’ve committed to the plan.
Don’t Look Back
Most of us are true creatures of habit. We get accustomed to a certain mode and stay there. Most of us don’t launch a new business regularly. But serial entrepreneurs are also creatures of habit. Their modes of operation involve building new businesses. Shake yourself up. Make building a new business your new regular, and don’t second-guess yourself. You didn’t get this far through complacency.
Great businesspeople never stop learning. They’re always looking for that next great idea and trying to improve their skill sets. They’re constantly networking. Like we said, we’re creatures of habit. Make learning your habit, and you’ll never be bored. Network and build skills with like-minded professional women at IAW.