We got interactive in our latest SE session and asked you to bring your ideas to the stage and discuss what stage you’re at with your startup. Is it just an idea? Have you done the research, or are you in the running to start the production? We hear from Colin and Michele, who tell us their ‘ideas to action’ process and gain a fundamental understanding of how entrepreneurs all follow the same process.
The first thing Colin does when an idea sparks to mind is head over to godaddy.com to ensure he has ownership of his idea and domain name.
Michele does in-depth research on her idea to see if the domain name is available and establishes whether the patent has already been taken.
Michele said it is critically important to pick your domain name. “Picking a name really helps you to focus on your idea.”
Following this, Michele does a scan across all social media platforms to see if her domain name is available.
Colin likes to set up ‘stage gates’ so that he is able to visualize a company a certain size. A type of deadline to reach, a goal to achieve, what is doable, and what is not. He said, “If I cannot reach those stage gates, I either need to pivot or get out of that business.”
Do you fall in love with company and business ideas and find yourself holding on for too long? Colin said it’s time to stop, and knowing when to let go is crucial to you preventing yourself from losing time and money; this is the benefit of stage gates.
Is the business scalable?
It is easy to get excited about something in the short term, but is your business idea longstanding? Does it have legs? Can it grow, and can you be working on this business for the next 10 to 15 years?
Michele gets hung up on her next big idea and says it is essential to recognize that it is “highly improbable” to always come up with ideas that will be successful and the next “big thing.” So, that is why considering whether a company is scalable is a beneficial tool to help you focus on building a company rather than hitting the jackpot.
Funding is typically one of the most difficult stages of the ‘ideas to action’ process. Colin recommends using your own personal or family money to get your idea off the ground until you can prove a concept. Once you’ve proven a concept, it’s much easier to raise funding.
There are funding opportunities within government funding schemes. Don’t be ashamed to turn to the government for a helping hand in your startup if you need to.
Facebook and Google also offer free advertising, a great way to get your foot in the door!
Crowdfunding is a whole other conversation; “crowdfunding needs a marketing engine ready to fuel your kickstart business,” said Michele.
The next stage is production; how do you bring your product to fruition? If you’ve got the money and the go-ahead, what next?
Michele said figuring out “how to acquire a valued customer” is a popular way to help your micro company reach its potential. Is the market responding to your product? Is it a design flaw? What are the competitors like? How big is the market you’re trying to get into? Find out the challenges in the market and face them head-on.
Listen to the full session above and get more insights from entrepreneurs.