Often, I have seen many “would-be” entrepreneurs who think that the most important value for their entrepreneurial success is the uniqueness of their ideas. But, it is not true. Business ideas are easy, but implementation is what matters the most.
Here, I want to share one simple but practical process that you can use in becoming an entrepreneur—an entrepreneur who is the execution machine, not only a dreamer.
Let’s start with what you already have, and that is your business ideas.
How many business ideas you have?
Think about this question for the moment. Do you have three, five, ten, twenty ideas right now? Think about all the possible ideas that you have throughout your life. How much are they?
Probably you already have experience with many ideas. We are all creative persons. Someone more, someone less. But, the truth is that we all have already dealt with a bunch of ideas,
It is not about how many ideas we have. It is more about how much of them become a reality. Let’s start making something different about the ideas that currently are in your mind.
Start making a list of 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 a 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 the most practical way to quantify business ideas, we use numbers or worth in the 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.
If an idea solves 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 your idea is a real solution to the real problem you can use the scale from zero to ten. Ten is for the real problems, and zero is when the 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 of people? Next, you can express the desire for the solution from one without the desire to ten for maximum desire.
Payment Readiness Level (PRL)
Lastly, you can quantify the customer’s readiness level to pay for the solution. I call it payment readiness level (PRL) for the worthiness analysis of business ideas. In such a case, I am using the analogy of a 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 the 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 business ideas will be between some of the following statements:
- Don’t want to pay, regardless of 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.
- Also, they will pay, but if the solution is cheaper.
- They will pay no matter how much will cost the solution.
Logically, the best business ideas are ideas that will produce a solution for which potential customers are ready to pay no matter how much the solution will cost.
Calculate Worthiness Grade of Your Business Ideas
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 the 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. In contrast, the fifth idea has the maximum level of real solution for the customers, but the 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 delete from the list of your business ideas.
Why implementation matters the most?
Having ideas means that you are a dreamer. How often do you have a dream, but when you wake up, you come to reality. Dreams are good when you are dreaming, but when you wake up and come to reality, you see that they will not 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 a 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 do you think that nobody else has the same or similar ideas? Just look how many same or similar products are already on the market. The uniqueness of ideas is not something that will bring you success. The uniqueness of your execution process is something that will make a difference between a successful company and a person who will continue to dream of 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 someone can steal from you.
On the other side, you can’t sell your ideas, and you can’t find a place where you can sell your ideas.
How you can ensure the implementation of your business ideas?
As you can see, your ideas are the only entry ticket to play you the 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 the execution of your ideas?
You already make a large step forward analyzing all your ideas and selecting several most worthy for you, so you will not lose your time. When you know what business 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 the 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 activity.
- Description of each action.
Now, when you have a plan, stick to it and start working on all most important actions 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 a new plan for other things you need to do related to the idea.