As the saying goes ‘ideas are cheap’. It’s true, we all have them and most of them come to nothing. But when you hit on an idea that you just can’t shake, you may want to take action…affordably.
Don’t keep an idea to yourself
If you have an idea that you want to realise, the best step you can take is to simply start talking to people about it. Once you do, you’ll begin to get a good idea of what the weak areas are and quickly adapt your plans.
Talking ideas through is really important because at this stage you haven’t got anything to lose. With nothing set in stone, you can change the idea as you get feedback from other people.
Use who you know
If you think that your idea or product would be appealing to family and friends, let them know what you’re planning. If you’re lucky they might be interested in being your first customer or be able to refer others to you based on your intent alone.
Be ready to change
Before you put any money behind your idea make sure that you have offered your product or service to people and used their feedback to shape it. In some cases, your idea will radically change. If this happens, you can either embrace the new idea or go back to the start and begin the shaping process again. At this stage it hasn’t cost you anything, so don’t be disheartened. You are already more experienced than you were at the beginning of your journey.
Test the water
There are lots of ways to start selling cheaply. Facebook pages are great if you are trying out a service idea in particular. You can join local networks and introduce your business to them. You can see what local competition you have and be introduced to a local customer base relatively quickly. If you sell a product that you’re able to make, it might be worth considering listing it on a site like Etsy where they take care of the marketing for you. You’ll be a small fish in a big pond, but you’ll likely get a feel for what works and the amount of effort involved in running your listings.
…Or jump right in
There are cases where your idea won’t work very well on third-party sites. This is particularly true if your business is selling professional services, is design-driven or is high-value. This is because customers will want more examples and to check that the credibility of your business. The higher the cost, the fewer risks people want to take.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
You don’t need to do everything at once. Start with the right foundations and build up at the natural speed of your business. If you’ve got a strong foundation, you’ll be able to adapt it quickly to manage your next level of growth.
What is important is to keep focused on your idea and your customers and to keep the momentum going at a steady pace that’s right for you.
Whatever stage you’re at, we’d love to talk to you about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life. Our consultations are always free and could help you to cement your ideas or move them forward. We’ll never push you towards something you aren’t ready for and we’ll talk honestly about what your next step might be.
If you’ve got tips to share about starting out with an idea and building a business from it, we’d love to hear what you have to say – just leave a comment below!