How to Develop Your Business Idea

806_4091514It’s clear that there’s no great business without an idea. Still, without proper development, any idea will remain just an idea and will never become a successful business. If you think you’ve just stumbled upon an idea that could possibly lead to a launch of a business, here are a few tips to help you develop it in the right direction. First, you need to translate the idea into the reality of the marketplace, clarify your solution, define its unique benefits, and identify your niche target audience.

Define Your Audience

Even if your idea is really great, it might not correspond to the needs of the market. That’s why the first thing you should do is define your target audience – people who will be buying and using your product. Once you define this specific group, it’s time to listen and observe.

If your product is aimed at resolving a particular problem the industry faces, make sure to have this issue mapped out – follow industry-specific authority sources of information, keep up with the latest trends in your sector, look at blogs ran by key influencers of the industry and listen to the conversations happening in your niche.

Research and Analyze Your Idea

Before you make any move, you should scrutinize your idea from various perspectives. First, think about your prospective customers. Consider not only the people who will be purchasing your product or those who will directly interact with it, but also the influencers who might play a role in how your product is situated on the market.

Take a moment to examine your idea for a company. What will be its personality? What will be its key messages? What kind of promises you’ll be making to your customers? How will your customer benefit from your product? Define what you want to be known for.

The third layer is your competition – even if you expect your idea to be really unique, there are always alternatives. Have a look at the industry you’re aiming for and define who your primary and secondary competitors are, how often you’ll compete with them directly and what kind of messages you’ll fashion when competing with each of these groups.

Perform a SWOT Analysis

Now it’s time to focus on your product. A SWOT analysis is basically an analysis of the strengths (of your service, product or industry), the weaknesses of your product or service (high price, faulty design), the opportunities involved in your project and, finally, the potential threats to realizing your idea (like bad economy).

The basic benefit of SWOT analysis is that it allows you to see internal and external aspects of your product that might be either helpful or harmful to your operation. Consequently, you’ll be able to spot any holes and patch them up before you release the product to the market.

Create a Mockup and Test it

Once you have a clear idea about your product, it’s time to create a prototype, which can then be distributed to potential clients for testing. You can do it by creating a market survey, asking for feedback from key figures of the industry or building a focus group sessions – this means inviting people coming from various demographics to talk about your product and point you in the right direction.

All the above will give you a glimpse into the mind of your prospective clients. You will know what their first impressions of the product are – whether the packaging and marketing works. You’ll be able to gather real-time feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your product. Finally, you’ll use all this knowledge to polish your marketing and product itself before the big launch.

Turning your idea into an actual business is a long and difficult process, but if you make it through, you’ll be significantly improving the chances of your product to become the next big thing in your industry.

Monique Craig (1)Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers. Follow her on Twitter: @OneFlare.

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