I love coming up with new ideas. In fact, on my StrengthsFinder assessment, one of my top five strengths is Ideation. But, ideas aren’t anything without execution.
Before you execute a new business idea, it’s important to ask yourself these five questions:
1. What am I going to do?
This is your ten-second elevator pitch. If you can’t describe your idea within ten seconds, your idea is too complex or you don’t understand it well enough.
2. Who will I recruit to be on my team?
Your team is arguably your most valuable asset—especially early on. Who do you need on your team? Think about specific people. Also consider the skillsets and personalities you need to create a balance and complement your other team members.
3. Who are my customers?
If you’re not making money, you’re not going to make it very far. Doesn’t matter if you’re building a nonprofit or a social network—you need revenue. Describe your customers in terms of demographics (i.e. who they are, what they do, where they live, if they own or rent, etc.) and psychographics (i.e. what motivates them, what they believe, thoughts/feelings, etc.).
4. Why do they care right now?
According to a TED talk by Bill Gross, timing is everything—more so than your idea, team, business model, and funding. Why do your customers/users care right now? Further, will they care in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Why?
5. Who else has done (or is doing) what I want to do?
It amazes me how many entrepreneurs believe they don’t have any competitors and claim, “No one is doing X like this—trust me.” If you haven’t found your competitors you haven’t looked hard enough. Scour the interwebs and find out who is doing or has done what you want to do. Then, seek to understand what makes you different/better + what you can learn from them. Did they fail? Did they succeed? Why?
Good luck in your entrepreneurial endeavors and if you need a hand, give me a holler—I’d love to help.