Ideas are great. But what good are they if you don’t put them into action? Of course, that is easier said than done.
“If you are passionate about it and enjoy it, then go for it, Try to make sure there is an actual market for it first, of course. Even if you cannot find a sizable market, if you feel passionate about it enough to do a good job and make some money, then at least try,” says Josh Bois, co-founder of GlobalGoodNetworks.com. “Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion and their support but don’t always expect it. Oftentimes family will be the harshest critic and try to get you to give up on your idea.”
Not all ideas are immediate hits. There are bad ideas and ideas that might take a few tries before being a success. So don’t let a failure discourage you. Look at failures as learning opportunities.
“It means you will learn something. All failures are just data, so use your experience as a chance to assess what went wrong, what could have been done better or differently, and then make the necessary changes and try again,” says Rebecca Tracey, small business/solopreneur business expert for The Uncaged Life. “Especially in business, it usually takes a few rounds of tweaks before your idea really settles into something sustainable, so failure is part of the process – embrace it and use it to do better next time.”
There are several techniques you can you use to go from brainstorm to blueprint. Here are 7 steps to help get your idea up and running:
1) If you can see, you can do it. “Visualize a goal every day, if not multiple, such as where you want to see your product end up or who will use your service. If this means having a Fortune 500 brand calling you everyday, then visualize picking up or making that call to them,” says Bois. Adds transformation leader Diane Tinney of InspiredPeople, “Most people who are ‘stuck’ in status quo have not taken the time to clarify and define their long and short-term goals. Even the best idea will die on the vine unless it is supported by the vision and goals for that person, team, or organization.”
2) Put it in writing. “Write it all down. There’s something about the process of writing down your vision, long/short-term goals, and core values that brings about clarity of purpose, direction, and commitment. In teams and organizations this is where you get the ‘shared vision’–you need everyone’s input and buy-in to bring the idea into reality.”
3) Have a plan. “Make an action plan, what are the exact steps you will take day by day to reach that goal?,” notes Bois. Tinney agrees. ” Once you have the clear vision, know how the idea fits into that vision, and document those goals, next step is to define the action plan. The Who, What, When, due dates, etc,” she says. “The devil is in the details, so as a team or if this is a personal goal, still you need to break the big goal down into doable steps and assign responsibility. Also key at this stage is measurement and accountability. How will you know that this step is complete? That the goal has been attained?”
4) Get excited. It’s your idea, you have to be your best cheerleader. “You must have a genuine excitement and passion for the idea. Whether you’re inventing a new product or starting a business, it takes a huge amount of time and energy to launch an idea,” says Julie Austin, founder of Createforcash and author of “The Money Garden: How to Plant the Seeds for a Lifetime of Income.” “If your heart isn’t really into it, you’ve already failed.”
5) Seek feedback. “Talk with trusted colleagues about the idea: Discuss it openly with friends, families and colleagues. The more you discuss it, the more feedback you will receive and the better you will get at flushing out the idea,” says attorney Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.
6) Think money. You will need to finance your idea. “Determine how you will fund the idea and how you will earn revenue.. If you cannot finance the idea and figure out a way to at least break-even, it will be impossible to sustain. You must at least have a plan on funding and sustainability over the upcoming 3-6 months,” notes Sweeney.
7) Know what you’re getting into. Research is a must. “Many people think they are the only or first person with that idea. Your idea may be a play on another venture or it may be truly unique, but you have to know the market and the competition. Who will purchase from you? And what other industry challenges are out there? If it still seems viable, it’s wise to proceed forward,” advises Sweeney.