Coming up with a workable home business idea is only a beginning. If whatever that idea is never develops beyond a thought, your dream of a real business will never happen.
In fact, let me be so blunt as to say that your chances for success in any business creation attempt will be directly proportional to your ability to translate ideas, and feelings, and thoughts into executed action steps over extended periods of time.
Every new product and service that you see in the world today is the result of someone’s acting upon an idea and following through by executing a series of steps that eventually resulted in the service or product’s launch.
There may have been many, many people that had a similar, or even the exact same idea.
Some didn’t know what to do with their idea. Some are still working on developing their product.
Some are researching their market. Others are testing their product or service to see if the solution they’ll offer is sellable.
Most likely others worked on the same idea for a while then decided they couldn’t make a profitable product out of it.
Who knows how many entrepreneurs had the very same idea but shoved it into the recesses of the mind only to be pulled up later – most likely when it’s too late to commercialize or be successful.
Here are the steps I see in moving most any idea forward. (We’ll go into more detail later as we concentrate on each of these critical actions.)
1. Research the idea online.
Look for duplicate or even similar products that are already on the market. Check the forums, chat rooms, and product review sites for valuable customer feedback and preferences. The idea is to verify that the service or product is “in demand” and people in the niche are willing to pay for it right now.
2. Bring in a focus group or set of trusted and objective friends or associates.
It will be helpful to have some additional feedback and comments from people that will experience the product. You want them to give you an honest and preliminary idea of what they think about your idea and how you’re going to monetize it.
3. Test the idea on your perfect customers.
Define who is your “perfect” customer and figure out how to contact some in this group. Often this step is accomplished with a paid traffic ad in an attempt to get feedback from the niche market place. Collect opinions, preferences, favorite “brands,” features everyone’s talking about, etc. The Internet makes testing a snap these days.
4. Develop the draft or prototype of the product or service.
Don’t worry that it’s not perfect at this initial stage – you’re just trying to test the waters to see if there is enough interest to make continuing worthwhile and to make sure you can feasibly and cost effectively sell it.
5. Refine it, if you can, by first letting a few key players try it and then modify the product to include their suggestions (if valid.)
Now might also be a great time to get testimonials from these experts for your marketing materials going forward. It’s important to listen to the niche audience as your own feelings about the product are going to be biased.
6. Develop simple marketing strategies/materials so you can launch the project.
There have been books written and whole e-courses developed on how to do a business or product launch. Jeff Walker is the most famous “launch expert” and has written a book on the subject called Launch, if you are interested.
7. Launch the initial test with controls; get feedback, continue modifications.
Usually the launch is not a single event. Often the process will unfold over the span of several weeks. Be sure to gather prospect and customer subscriptions (name and email address) during this time so that you can continue to stay in touch with these prospects.
8. Evaluate, tweak, re-launch to a wider audience once you have made any changes to the product.
You never want to do a roll-out until you have seen the success you’re hoping for on a smaller group of customers. Having a failed initial product introduction is never going to turn around completely without making changes in the campaign.
9. Continue to follow through with additional launches after applying the “evaluate – modify – refine – test again” cycle to your product.
There can be more than one launch – you’ll just be taking the product to a new group of people or a different but closely related market.
10. I always believe in planning a product or business exit strategy up front.
You see, products these days generally have a shelf-life. They become stale and often lose their selling power over time. Rather than have a huge inventory of widgets in your basement that you can’t sell, wouldn’t it be better to plan for a business sale or new product emphasis while your business is still has equity in it?
One of the great things about the home based Internet business strategy is that rolling out a new product or service online can be accomplished very quickly. You can become quite experienced at introducing new products to the market place. Some product creators spend most of their time following these steps and then turning over the sales to their army of affiliates.
To your online business success,