Written by Callum Rodgers
The Startup Industry is full of innovation and creativity. Your idea is your business. The ideation process is your greatest asset; use this time to bounce idea off those around you and develop your idea into a strategically planned business model. But where do you start?
Developing that Idea..
The ideation process is always the hardest.. How do I turn my idea to a physical reality?
The answer is making use of the resources already at your disposal; don't be deterred, every idea has potential if you strategically develop it. The first thing to note is that your initial idea will never be your end idea; when you start to develop your idea, it will become elaborate and you will start to see new opportunities, your final idea isn't different, it's just a more practical concept of your initial idea.
TIP: Anytime you have an idea (no matter how silly you think it is) write it down, you never know when the opportunity may arise to pursue it.
The best startups are those that develop an idea that addresses the need or gap in a market; if your idea presents a solution to a problem, you've already got a selling point for your startup.
Understanding your Idea... The questions to ask yourself.
- Does your idea answer a question?
- What problem does it provide a solution for?
- Who would have a vest interested in your startup? Are they the people who suffer from the problem above?
Once you can answer these questions don't overwhelm yourself trying to piece together every little piece of your idea; step away and take a breather; read a book; go for a walk; it doesn't matter what you do, just ensure you give yourself time to process the thoughts that you have just had.
Planning out your Idea
Once you've taken that time away, it's time to start developing your concept and strategically planning your implementation to get it off the ground.
1. List your Available Resources; where is your starting point?
Do you have an office or a home computer? Your starting point is simply understanding your situation at the beginning of your start-up. Think about your surroundings, your skills, family, networks and resources you use day to work out how they will benefit your startup and help you to create your initial foundations and understand your short-term capabilities.
2. Is it a product, service or unique IP?
Product: Anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.
Service: An intangible commodity that delivers value to a customer in a service provider and service consumer setting.
Unique IP: The intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights etc.
3. What are the capabilities of your startup?
Once you've defined your the solution your startup provides, your target demographic and understood the kind of offering your startup gives your customers; start to think about the size and capabilities of your startup.
What is it's scaleability? Is it location specific? Is it nation wide? Or can it be scaled internationally?
Would you launch it in a smaller location demographic, let's say Brisbane, to initially test the idea or would you benefit from launching it widespread?
4. How will you monetise it?
It sounds like one of the most obvious questions however it's one of the biggest struggles of startups; often people will create an awesome idea with great usability however they created it before they actually knew how to monetise it.
Knowing your offering (product, service, intellectual property) will be a huge benefit as then you can start to understand and research how other startup's in your industry montised their idea.
When you are working with technology and intellectual property; some of the most common types of monetisation is licensing your IP, collecting data to sell to marketers and advertising on your platform, think about the amounts of money Facebook makes from sponsored advertising and selling all of our information!!
5. Do you need an investor?
In some instances you may need financial and material support from investors to get finalised product of the ground. If you discover that this is the case; don't be daunted by it, a great idea has the potential for great investment.
Think about the ways that you can solidify your idea; if you someone was to come to you with an idea rather than a physical product, what would make you want to invest in it?
Ensure that you understand your concept completely; ensure that you know your customer market, your scalability, you have information on your competitors and the current market place; you can explain the way your startup provides a solution to a problem; you have a visualization of what the finished product will be and lastly, why it would benefit them to invest into your idea.
6. Your Exit Strategy
All great things don't go on forever and therefore you need to understand your exit strategy in both best case scenario and worst case scenario.
A few questions to ask yourself;
- How long do I want to be working on this startup?
- What do I want to get out of this startup?
- When I reach success, in my eyes, would do I do then?
- Do you want to sell it?
- If it doesn't go to plan? What will I do? How will I free myself of debt, can I still sell it? What do I want to do afterwards? And how will I move forward?
Exit strategies are complex however, for now, it's important to just start asking yourself these simple questions so you can understand your startup from start to finish. You need to have plan.
The biggest thing to take away is don't be daunted by the unknown; you have the ability to create anything, you just need to be smart about it. Use your accessible resources, learn from those around you and create a plan that will help you get your startup off the ground as soon as possible.
Take advantage of the opportunity to be guided through your ideation process with industry experts at the Startup Hatch Ideation session. Having experienced professionals who have been in your place, help you to develop your ideas and concept is an invaluable opportunity to set yourself apart from potential competitors. You will also have the opportunity to grow your support network with other people who are in your position and therefore you should know that you are never alone; entrepreneuralism can seem lonely at times however the reality is that you aren't ever doing this by yourself, you just have to reach out.
Sign Up for the Ideation Session