As we approach the end of the year, a lot of your time will have been, and probably still is, spent typing up loose ends, sorting out bonuses, attending Christmas do’s, and planning for the New Year. But going into 2018 should be an exciting prospect for any business owner: a new year means new ideas. A fresh way of thinking, and a wave of projects that you wish you could start. But for that handful, or solitary, idea that you can focus on – what do you do with it? You can’t just fling it out into the world and hope for the best. And at the bottom line, you probably have partners or board members that you need to convince to allow you to go ahead first. So, how do you get to that point?
As soon as you have that idea, get researching; is there anything like it out there already, if so, then how can you make yours better. If not, then why? Is it because there’s no market for it, or is it because no one has come up with the right angle yet? If it has been done before, then you need to find the new angle, from both a product and a marketing point of view. It needs to seem new and fresh, even if it isn’t. Look at the history behind similar ideas, and compile a list of successes and of failures, so that you can design yours with all of the former, and none of the latter.
Going into a pitch, you need to have more than a fancy speech to convince people to hop over to your side. You need a business plan, of how this product is going to work, an expected date of launch, and a financial plan to see where the money is coming from and when you can see a return happening. Even if you are the sole controller of your business, the chances are that you are going to need to pitch the idea to your bank so that you can get the go-ahead to start paying for it all.
Regardless of what your idea is, you need to come up with a prototype. Find the best supplier for the what you need, like Prototek Manufacturing, and work out exactly how it’s going to be built, how it works, and, most importantly, how much it’s going to cost to mass produce it. The initial prototype probably won’t be perfect, but that’s where the next step comes into play.
Try and Test
Now that you have your idea as a physical object in your hand, it’s time to test it. UserZoom states that having your prototype tested by a real person is an essential part of the user-centered design process. Whether or not your idea is an app, a toy, or a piece of machinery – it all needs to be tested for bugs, glitches and fails. It’s hardly going to be perfect the first time round, so be prepared to have a few late nights figuring out how to make it better. But once you have those thumbs up from all your testers, it’s time to take that well-research, well-reasoned pitch and win everyone’s approval.