Here, I want to share one simple but a practical process that you can use in becoming an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur who is execution machine, not only a dreamer.
Let’s start with what you already have, and that is your ideas.
How much ideas you have?
Think about this question for the moment. Do you have three, five, ten, twenty ideas right now? Think about all possible ideas that you have through your life. How much they are?
Probably you already have experience with many ideas. We are all creative persons. Someone more, someone less. But, the true is that we all have already dealt with a bunch of ideas,
It is not about how much ideas we have it is more about how much of them become reality. Let’s start making something different about the ideas that currently are in your mind.
Start making a list with all your ideas. Open your favorite table processing software (Excel, Numbers or whatever you use) and type them in the first column. In the second column write short description of your ideas. We will continue to develop this table in the next paragraphs in this post.
What is the worth of your ideas?
In most practical way to quantify something we use numbers, or worth in form of money. The question is what is the worth of your ideas? With your ideas, you expect some benefit that will be larger from the costs that will need to invest in their implementation. When we talk about startups, there are also benefits for potential customers that your idea will bring to them after implementation process.
If an idea solve a real problem that someone in large quantity desperately wants to solve and is ready to pay for the solution will be more worth than ideas that don’t solve a real problem, nobody wants the solution, and nobody is ready to pay for that solution.
For example, if you your idea is a real solution for the real problem you can use the scale from zero to ten. Ten is for real problem and zero is when idea doesn’t solve real problems for the potential customers. Now, we can continue with the potential market. How much is large the potential market for that idea? Is it thousands or millions people? Next, the desire for solution can be expressed from one without desire to ten for maximum desire.
Lastly, you can quantify the customer’s readiness level to pay for the solution. I call it payment readiness level (PRL) when it comes to the worthiness analysis of business ideas. In such a case, I am using analogy of thermometer to see where each idea will be on the payment readiness level. It is similar to Steve Blank’s Investment Readiness Level who also uses analogy from NASA’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL) as a common way to describe the maturity and state of flight readiness of their technology projects.
As you can see from the picture, all ideas will be between some of the following statements:
- Don’t want to pay, regardless what you will do.
- They will wait to see how the solution will work.
- They will pay, but they are not sure how much they are ready to pay.
- They will pay, but if the solution is cheaper.
- They will pay no matter how much will cost the solution.
Logically, the best ideas are ideas that will produce a solution for which potential customers are ready to pay no matter how much will cost the solution.
Now, when you know the numbers for all these criteria, you can calculate the worthiness grade of all your ideas as is shown in the table below.
As you can see, the second idea doesn’t solve a real problem, so you cannot estimate other criteria related to potential market, desire and PRL. Ideas number three and five are most worth ideas because the second idea has the biggest potential market and PRL, while fifth idea has maximum level of real solution for the customers, but smaller potential market and smaller PRL.
So, now you know which ideas are most worthy for you to continue with them. The rest of them you can simply delete from the list of your business ideas.
Why implementation matters the most?
Having ideas means that you are a dreamer. How much times you have a dream, but when you wake up you come to the reality. Dreams are good when you are dreaming, but when you wake up and come to the reality you see that they are not something that will bring you benefits if you don’t take some actions to make them real.
You cannot allow yourself to overvalue your ideas. They don’t mean anything without implementation, or execution. Having and brainstorming business ideas is risk free activity, because you can’t lose something. But, execution and implementation can cause losing your time and money.
You think you have a brilliant idea, but why you think that nobody else has the same or similar ideas? Just look how much same or similar products are already on the market. The uniqueness of ideas is not something that will bring you success. Uniqueness of your execution process is something that will make a difference between successful company and person who will continue to dream generating more and more ideas somewhere in her notebook. Also, your ideas are something easiest that can be stolen from the competition side. But, your execution process is not something that can be stolen from you.
On the other side, you can’t sell your ideas and you can’t find place where you can sell your ideas.
How you can ensure implementation of your ideas?
As you can see, your ideas are only entry ticket to play you entrepreneurial game. They are required, but they are not something that will bring success for sure. You need implementation if you want to succeed. So, how you can ensure execution of your ideas?
You already make a large step forward analyzing your all ideas and selecting several most worthy for you, so you will not lose your time. When you know what ideas will require execution, you can start making your plan. So, the first thing you will need to do is developing a one page plan that will contain following things:
- Most important actions that you will need to do in the next month or two.
- How much time you will need to spend on each action.
- Description of each action.
Now, when you have a plan, stick to it and start working on all most important action until you come to the end action on the list in your plan. When you implement this first plan it is time to check your achievements, celebrate the success and create new plan for other things you need to do related to the idea.