The Quickest Way To $1m - Part 1: Creating Products And Services From A New Idea
You want to start a business and reap the rewards of your success. But how does this work?
Novice business owners think that the quickest way to $1 million is by developing a product. But the most profitable businesses come with a great idea and then build a product or service around that.
Coming up with a million-dollar idea is the hard part.
So what does it take for companies like Apple and Uber to be so successful? Here’s the quickest way to $1 million and how to come up with products and services from a new idea.
Step 1: Setting Up Your Vision
You want to make $1 million in revenue, but you don’t have a sense of the who, what, why, or how. This is your first problem. If you want to be a super successful business owner and generate $1 million in sales, you have to have a comprehensive company vision and strategy.
In drafting this first step, you will be setting yourself up for success later down the line. Making 1 million dollars should not be the only or even the primary goal of your business. There should be another overarching goal, something that inspires you.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the two college dropouts that propelled the Apple Computers Inc. brand to what we know today, came into the company with a certain vision. They not only wanted to make money but they also wanted to change the way people viewed computers.
Part of this vision to them meant that computers should be something that could be in a home, or small enough to be at the office. Their idea revolutionized how we view technology and computing today.
Without the idea to make computers more user-friendly and smaller, and without their overarching vision, we would not have Apple as it is today.
This is why it’s so important to start with a vision.
Maybe you have a hobby, passion, or skill set that is unique. Or, what is something about your current industry that really frustrates you? Tap into those thoughts, feelings, and passions. You could come up with a product or service that benefits consumers in unprecedented ways.
Step 2: Brainstorming Your Ideas
Every successful product or service starts with a good idea. In brainstorming your idea, consider the following:
What problems do you want to solve?
What problems are you capable of solving?
How can you contribute (even in a minor way) to more significant, global issues?
How much investment capital do you have?
Once you’ve identified the track that you want to take, then you can come up with more concrete data:
Who will your products or services be helping?
In what (of the many) ways will it be helping them?
How will your product specifically be used?
In your brainstorming session, you’ll want to start to nail down certain aspects of your idea. Try to identify the industry that it is nestled in. This will also tell you if it is a viable product or if the market is too saturated.
The usefulness of the product/service
The differentiating factor of the product/service
Targeted demographics (if unique)
Specifications that are technical, scientific, or unique
Also, establish timelines related to your product or service. Things like technology and software might go out of style sooner rather than later or be impacted by seasonality. If you are part of developing a product that can help catch leaks in your home roof, you want to push that product during a rainy season.
Finally, start to establish who you will need on your team to help you succeed.
Step 3: Research and Development
There’s a lot at stake when you want to develop a new product. However, if it’s the right idea, you will find that your product or service can sell itself. If you come up with a great idea, you develop the product or service around that idea (rather than the other way around), and your vision for selling that product or service makes more sense.
To minimize risk and allocate investments and resources wisely, identify if your idea will:
Will it meet customers’ specifications?
Be technologically feasible
Be attainable based on your product development strategy
To make sure that you are hitting the mark, consult with your team, business advisors, or think tank engineers about your plans.
Go through multiple rounds of idea revisions to ensure that your insights aren’t being overlooked by biases, including personal ones. Sometimes issues arise due to communication breakdown, so you want to make sure that your team is ultra clear on what you are getting at.
Present them with multiple rounds of product pitches so that they continually point out the gaps in your strategies and designs.
You’ll also need to map out and seek out the viewpoints of suppliers and business associates. Maybe certain aspects of your business development are not feasible based on logistics rather than something specific about your product design. Suppliers will be able to best advise you on these challenges or opportunities.
Seek the advice of experts. There are other aspects of your business development that you should consider early on, like compliance or regulations that you need to follow. Creating your product may have an environmental impact, so be mindful of that and the additional taxes or regulations that come with that.
Don’t forget to test test test. This will ensure that your idea is better once you are ready to launch.
It’s far easier to test a bad idea until it is a great idea than it is to launch a bad idea and try to fix it or upsell it as a great idea.
Testing may be a significant time commitment, and you may be eager to get your idea off the ground and running, but the time commitment is worth it. It is also more affordable and less risky.
You should go through beta testing throughout the product and service development stage. With beta testing, you can take your customer feedback directly to develop a top-notch product.
Step 4: Turning Your Idea into a Product or Service
At this point, you should have an idea that you are fairly confident with. You can begin product and service development based on that idea. This is the stage where you are poking holes in your original “business idea” to make sure that it fits the market, strategy, production needs, and more.
The biggest asset of your product development stage is the research. You want to do a lot of research initially so that you know what your product’s industry is all about, where the gaps in the industry lie, and how your product can solve critical problems. Without this stage, then you will be entering into an industry with limited knowledge of your product, and you will be treated as a novice. It’s also a little disrespectful to enter into an industry without doing your research first! In general, your ideas will be shot down because you haven’t done the research your peers expect.
With your R&D, you should be nailing down product specs. But you can also map out marketing messaging and tone, the price range of investment capital you need (and at each stage), potential risks with your business, and reasons why your company might struggle.
Look beyond the initial unveiling of the product to consider long-term and also immediate potentials. By mapping out problems and opportunities sooner, you can begin to mitigate issues before they happen and capitalize on unique opportunities before your competitors do.
Step 5: Sharing Your Idea
Once you’ve gone through the first three steps, you’ll move on to sharing your big idea. Once you’ve moved past the phase where you are nurturing your great idea, you will need to manage the product.
All products go through a lifecycle, which involves product development, introduction or launch, growth (sales), maturity, and decline. You can use different promotional strategies to extend the product lifecycle, and much of this should be mapped out in your original research.
Managing your product once it’s off the ground is the next biggest hurdle. You’ll likely need to adjust the product measurements and scope as the market demands change. You’ll also need to change the proposed pricing to fit the consumer needs and inflation as well.
Then, make sure to map out and develop the project process. The team that you have on board to help you will need a lot of guidance and direction, including capital investment and cost control strategies.
Novice business owners think that the quickest way to $1 million is by developing a product first.
However, the most profitable businesses start from a new idea.
Use these five steps for a great business idea:
Establish your company vision. Making 1 million dollars should not be the only or even the primary goal of your business.
Brainstorm your ideas. Define problems you want to solve, problems you’re capable of solving, and your target audience.
R&D. Start to develop your ideas and test the market. Identify if your idea meets the customer specifications and if it’s feasible.
Now, you can start developing your product/service. Make sure you beta test, ask the advice of experts and be prepared to check some of your biases.
Finally, you can share your idea, product, or service in the market.
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