This post should be reviewed along with Resources 2, 3, and 4 below as they are all complementary.
The following are excerpts from Resource (1) below:
Here are few things to consider the next time you have your next big business idea.
1. Look for it. When I hear that someone has the next big business idea, I pull out my iPhone and within minutes can often find an existing product or service with a search on Google or YouTube. Before you even get wrapped up in an idea, save yourself the time and do a thorough search to find out if it already exists.
If you find it does, do not give up on your inspiration too hastily. Perhaps there are ways to improve on the existing product? Can you offer value to the business already producing it? Could the market be satisfied better? If you answered “yes,” move to the next step.
2. Seek feedback. Talk to others about your idea, especially people you trust. . . . If you are the only person who truly thinks the idea is good, then it is time to reassess.
3. Build an MVP. If your idea has support, then consider developing an MVP, or minimum viable product, to determine if it is a product you and others would really use.
If you have a technology idea, such as a smartphone app, look to crowdsourcing or a StartupWeekend event to find the assistance you need. [And then test it to see if it is actually used.]
4. Start building your identity. If your testing goes well and you feel that you might have a winning idea, start building a brand around it now. In today’s fast moving and innovating business environment, an idea that is validated today may be knocked off or even obsolete tomorrow, so do not linger. [Or likely others have also thought of it and are working on it–so get going now.]
Start by choosing a great name and securing the website domain to create, at a minimum, a sharp business landing page. Next, secure your business name with every social-media site you can. Even if you do not use them, it protects you from others securing and using them, and it will ultimately improve your search-engine optimization. Then start leveraging these resources to build a fan base.
5. Hash a customer acquisition plan. Before you dive into a lengthy business plan, which more than likely will be obsolete before you even launch, focus on two questions:
“How do I get my first customer?”
“How do I get my n-th customer?”
[Without testable answers to those questions, there’s no point in starting.]
(1) Validate Your Business Idea — Quickly — With These 5 Steps by Peter Gasca, September 18, 2014, from Entrepeneur.
(2) Test Your Idea With These Simple and Inexpensive Steps by Adam Callinan, June 18, 2014 from Entrepeneur.
(3) How To Get Startup Ideas by Paul Graham, Nov 12, 2012.
(4) Schlep Blindness by Paul Graham, January 2012.
(5) 9 Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Validated Their Business Idea by Anand Srinivasan, April 29, 2014 from Entrepeneur.