Five ways to qualify an idea

When you are an entrepreneur, it’s not unusual to be flooded with ideas. From your midday brainstorms to your midnight inspiration, when you are always asking questions or looking for answers the ideas come.

But with so many ideas coming through and only so many hours in the day, how do you know which ones to follow and which ones to keep locked away for later?

While there is never a black and white answer to that question, there are some ways you can help qualify your idea to know if it will be the next big thing or the next big flop.

1. Uncover the problem

When the idea is forming, look at the problem/s it solves. Is it a prominent problem that a lot of people have? Is it a problem they are aware of or do they need to be educated about it? How much education will need to be given?

This will start to help you uncover your target market and how big this market will be.

2. Determine if it’s a need or want

Once you have the problem, determine if it is a need or want. While your market might need the idea you are developing, if they don’t want it, your market will be limited. You know you are on to a good idea when your target market both needs and wants your product or service.

3. Benchmark

As your idea is developing, look at what else is out in the marketplace to compete with it.  Do you have many competitors or just a few?  Is there a market for what you are doing? If you have no competitors is it because it’s an uncharted territory or because others have failed before you? If people have failed, why did they fail? How is your idea different to what is already out there?

4. Delve into the senses

Imagine your idea in use. How will it look, taste, touch, smell or feel? How will people interact with it or use it? What limitations or objections do you imagine people will have? What barriers might you encounter? 

5. Seek opinion

Once you have formulated your idea, it’s time to seek feedback. While you need to be protective over your idea (and use appropriate confidentiality agreements) you also need to test your idea before you start investing significant time and money into it. 

To do this effectively approach people that will give you different perspectives, from trusted advisors like your accountant, business coach, solicitor or marketing consultant, to trusted friends and most importantly potential customers. 

Keep in mind that you want more feedback than “that’s a great idea!” you want specific details on whether they would buy it? How much would they pay for it? What would they want from it or be able to do with it? How would they want it to look or be packaged? 

The more research you can do in the idea stage, the more time, money and potential heartache you will save yourself in the development stage.

Over to you, do you have any tips or tricks for qualifying ideas? 


Four tips to push past the point of no inspiration

We’ve all felt the frustration of staring at a blank computer screen or piece of paper when it needs to be full of ideas or content. 

In a time where our intellectual property is so highly valued, it is important for us to be able to come up with new ideas, innovations and content at the drop of a hat even when inspiration is no where to be found. 

So how do you keep your creative juices and ideas flowing? Here are four tips to help you push past the point of no inspiration. 

1. Break it down and plan

While it can save time going from idea right through to completion in one go, don’t feel pressured to do this every time. Break your task into stages. 

Even the simple step of writing down what you need to do, what you want to achieve by it and the framework of how you are going to do it can be enough to get you going. For example, if it is a blog post you need to write, determine your audience, set the topic, write down the main points you want to cover and what you want your reader to know and do by the end of it.

If it is a proposal or pitch you need to produce, briefly outline your target audience, their current frustrations, how you can make it better (with proof) and what they need to do to act. 

Starting is often the hardest part but by taking the small step of planning you not only give yourself more clarity around the project, you save time and make completing the task far easier. 

2. You don’t need to have it all figured out immediately

We often put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out from the start, but ideas are a work in progress. 

If you feel you are stumbling over a word, sentence, section, page or particular task mark where you are up to and move onto the next word, sentence, section and so on. Don’t get so bogged down in perfecting your work that you stop making progress. Remember no one needs to see the planning or working version of your task except you. 

3. Eliminate all of your distractions 

Give yourself every opportunity to focus on the task at hand. This means turning your phone onto do not disturb, unplugging from the Internet and bringing order to your workspace.  

Many of our thoughts can be silenced by the noise and distractions that fill our daily work day. By eliminating those distractions you give yourself the opportunity to think and focus.

4. Step away to move forward 

Sometimes the best plan of action is to give yourself some space from the task at hand. The longer you are in a stressed state the longer your ideas and thoughts will be stifled. To break the cycle you need to change your state. 

Get some fresh air, change your work environment, run on the spot or take a break, do something that will relax you and ease your stress. While you can think you don’t have time, this will clear your mind and get your ideas flowing again.

If you would like help with your copywriting or content marketing, I would be happy to help.

How do you push past the point of no inspiration?


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