Let's not overcomplicate this. I've seen too many people write full-blown essays on the topic of forming profitable ideas. But not here. Today, I'm going to share my secret formula for creating winning business ideas. And yes, it's only two steps.
Before we dive in, I would like to preface my 2 point process with a few quick foundational lessons. Because while I wish ideation were less complex, there are five intellectual prerequisites required to even play in the game.
1. Ideas are cheap: I don't care how much profit potential your idea has, success has little to do with ideas and everything to do with the brilliance of the people behind them.
2. Scratch your own itch: The most successful people don't start businesses for other people's problems, they start them out of their own problems.
3. It's been done before: In business, the worst place to be is in first place. Second place allows you vantage points by which to copy what works and skip what doesn't.
4. It's financially realistic: If you know me, I'm anti-business-partner, anti-debt, and anti-investor. If you can't afford to bootstrap your idea on your own, don't do it. 87% of business partnerships fail within 30 months.
5. Fast money: If your business idea won't allow you to make money within 30 days of launching, it's a bad idea.
As I mentioned above, my formula is simple. It's made up of two important questions that have kept me from chasing brilliant ideas that won't work and fun ideas that don't pay.
My Formula Step #1: Timing
In my experience, the best entrepreneurs are those who can develop the skill of foresight. The ability to see where the market is going before everyone else. But again, let's not make this too complex. Nobody expects you to develop the talent to predict the next market crash or social media frontrunner.
However, If you're a realtor, for example, foresight requires you to understand the industry landscape. The emotions of those involved. What everyone is thinking, feeling, and voicing.
Foresight allows you to create a solution publicly for what everyone is frustrated with privately.
In Bill Gross's brilliant 6 minuted TED Talk titled "The single biggest reason why startups succeed" he proves the driver behind business idea success is not your idea, your team, your business model, or your funding. You guessed it. It's timing. (WATCH THE VIDEO)
Critical Question: Is your idea too early or too late? Are there any outside factors e.g. economy, industry, or location that might prevent or propel the adoption of your idea? These are the critical questions you must consider prior to pulling the trigger.
Lastly, timing goes beyond that of your industry. Successful ideas also require the correct time in your life, from maturity and availability to relational capital and financial stability. At the core, entrepreneurship and the launching of a business is a commitment. By preparing yourself with education, assembling a realistic schedule to work on your startup, and saving enough money to invest in your idea will place you in a strong position prepared to succeed.
Bottom Line: Are you one that finds yourself at the right place at the right time? Did anticipate that Snap Chat was going to be huge? Did you almost buy Apple stock in 1999? Were you betting on Netflix to take over the T.V. industry? If so, you might have the skill of timing. A skill that will serve you well in forming a winning idea.
Formula Step #2 Problem Solving
Seth Godin once said, "Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers." The foundation of strong business is built on solving problems. Because as long as consumers have problems, they will alway search for solutions.
But problems come in a thousand shades of red. The best problems to solve are built around three elements:
As entrepreneurs, we must search for problems that require "must-have" products not "nice to have" products. Products that solve deep seated issues, not luxury items consumers buy if they have spare cash.
Secondly, the level of pain dictates the level of power. If your idea can bring relief to pain points in the life of your customer, you'll find quick buy-in on your idea.
Lastly, problems amplified by urgency or immediate demand, bring speed to the pace of your success.
Ultimately, the role of the entrepreneur is to look for inefficiencies. To locate paths to an easier way, a better way, and a more beautiful way.
Critical Question: Does your business idea call for a required product or nice-to-have item? Does your business idea solve problems that are painful? Does your idea solve problems attached to urgencies?
Remember folks, history is written by the winners. The secret is finding an idea that fits the parameters of proven success. Let's not reinvent the wheel. Let's not let our passion force us toward ideas that will leave us poor. If you're ready to pursue your business idea and create the life you want, let me help you. Consider my program below.
Was this helpful for you? Any other tips that have helped you on your journey toward a winning idea? Let me know in the comments below.