We get contacted by many people who think they have a next big thing. Some good-sized chunk of those ideas could actually be built into big businesses. Billion dollar businesses like Netflix, ebay, Amazon, Walmart and many others were once just someone's idea too. Apple started out in a garage.

Innovative ideas alone are not enough. They must be evolved into something more tangible

How does one get from an idea about a different approach to video rentals to a Netflix or from a new way to build a retailing business to a Walmart? They take at least one more step beyond just hatching the idea.

As the old saying goes, hot ideas really are a dime a dozen. There is no risk nor no cost in idea creation. Like nearly everything in business: where there is zero risk and/or zero cost, there is zero or near-zero upside. It often takes a measured risk and some investments of money, time and energy to monetize a good concept. Turn your good idea into something more tangible than a collection of interlinked neurons in your brain and it can become something genuinely sellable. More simply, if you really believe it is a next big thing innovation you should start a business and take it to market.

The Most Crucial Step to Monetizing Your Business Idea

When you invest time & money into monetizing your concept you take the crucial step that the vast majority of your fellow innovators will not. At that point you transform from dreamer into genuine entrepreneur. It's that commitment that establishes a tangible foundation around the idea, setting up a genuine opportunity to start making money from it. Theodore Levitt- the American economist and Harvard Business School professor- said it well: "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."

That money itself can come from many sources: customers, investors, bankers, franchisees, partners, family & friends, etc. All of these sources will generally be much more interested in giving you money if you demonstrate that the idea is more than just a thought... that it can be a scalable, profitable enterprise. Try to get the financiers to buy just the idea and you are competing with millions of other "I've got the next Google" dreamers as well as thousands of others who have already packaged their idea within a mature business plan, thousands more in startup mode and thousands of others that are already making money on their idea and looking for cash and/or more customers to fuel growth. In simple terms, the further your concept is from proving a market of buyers exists for it, the harder it is to monetize it.

Business startup or acquisition services are well within our core competencies. Our deep network of talent can assist in doing all of the component steps at a high level of quality. Starting a business is a very broad topic covered by many websites all over the Internet so we won't repeat the basics of that here. Instead, we'll add that it is tremendously helpful to pull together a great team of individual professionals skilled at the fundamentals of solid business models. BI can be your team for the various growth-side functions- marketing, sales, development (business, product, website) and strategic planning & execution. We can refer other specialist talent for the non-growth side functions like legal, accounting, etc.

Entrepreneurs Checklist: Preparing to Take Your New Product or Service to Market

When we work with the "I've got a great concept, now what?" entrepreneur, we often talk about 2 phases of monetizing their idea. We typically refer to the first phase as the "get ready" phase (as in get ready to go to market). This phase involves assembling the foundational basics a business needs to be ready to impressively present itself to its target market. Most of these are tangible elements likely to be necessary regardless of the scope of the business idea and whether you'll end up with a product or service to sell. Some of the bigger "get ready" needs usually include:

  • Developing your idea into a mature form fully packaged for customer consumption. In short, we can work with you to bring your idea into a form that could be purchased by your target market. There are many variables in how this is accomplished but general supporting steps may include thorough target market research and competitive analysis so that you can go to market with customer-centered, "best-of" features & benefits. As the product concept formalizes, many other issues like how it should be packaged, produced, distributed, etc, can be explored, refined and finalized.
  • Develop a "wow" website as a principal face of your new company. This website is likely to present the product or service to the world and perhaps even do some of your initial selling. A BI website aims at cutting-edge wow so that your offering(s) can stand out from the competitive crowd. We intelligently weave a core group of proven marketing elements together to help grow your customer base as quickly as possible. We map out programmer-level needs (such as navigation, forms, customer database, even page-by-page content, etc) with marketing needs (rich, original promotional content pitching your product, SEO, self-service layers, lead capture layers, etc) and so on. A BI website is always smart, scalable (so it doesn't require major (aka expensive) redesigns as the business grows), sharp, intuitive, etc. We accomplish this by using a well proven, 4-step process to develop the site: 1) we completely map out nearly every detail in a written website artchitecture specification (a document that lays out exactly what the website looks like, how it works, marketing layers, technology layers, database, pages, navigation, etc.), 2) we use the approved (by you) spec to get very competitive (often fixed project) bids to code the site described in the architecture document, 3) we oversee the coding to be sure that the programmers deliver what was requested, and finally, 4) we create the marketing & sales-related content to promote your offering in complete & impressive ways. We've found this to be the most cost-efficient model for ending up with a wow website that dazzles your targeted customers & prospects... much more intelligent than the usual "flying by the seat of your pants" website development approach.
  • Develop a wow image of you- the innovator behind the new product- a classically proven way to introduce a new product or service to market. Many great minds behind some of the largest companies in the world established the link between themselves and the company right at the beginning. As such, the various early sales propositions can sell the ambiguous value of your genius instead of focusing solely on just product or service specs. Product specs can be objectively valued relative to competitor offerings; your intellect can't. BI develops content and imagery designed to make you look exceptionally great to the marketplace, then leverages that presentation of you to help introduce your product(s). The ambiguity of your value helps jack up perceived value making it easier to sell more units at good margins.
  • Develop a cost-efficient launch marketing plan that capitalizes on outstanding work in the above aiming to maximize a number of buyers ASAP. A BI plan spells out industry-proven & innovative new tactics to attract quality leads and grow customer (buyer) quantities. It pins down a specific target market(s) most favorable to your proposition. It is THE plan for actually monetizing your idea... so your plan must be great. A solid, professional plan is most crucial if you might also want- or need- to seek financing from bankers, investors, franchisees and other ready sources of cash. No (quality) plan yields nearly no interest from such funding sources.
  • Develop the launch creative (promotions) to support the (approved) marketing plan. Often this is a mix of online and proactive promotional creative used to pursue relevant prospects and move them toward buying your product. There are various kinds of creative vehicles and approaches that can work well and many others that can't work well. We selectively customize your marketing mix as part of developing the superior tactics that best fit your product or service to your ideal market(s). Again, this creative represents your initial sales-motivated messaging. It's job is to go out to what is tyipcally total strangers and entice as many of them as possible to open their wallets. These promotions must mix high quality messaging with mind-grabbing visuals to maximize interest... then turn that glowing attention into a good quantity of buyers ASAP.
  • General business consulting which covers many of the large & small details that go into getting any great product or service ready to go to market. This can range from intelligently choosing the right business structure to legal, accounting, various HR issues, etc. Need some specialized knowledge or help with some part of your concept? We've probably got the best talent to help you within our deep network. Not sure if you should go this way or that? Our expertise can be your guide. This piece of "get ready" is often sold as a stand-alone business service with names like "strategic advisor" and similar. With us, you can tap many professional brains instead of just one... and relevant expertise instead of generalists.

Often we can package the entire "get ready" phase as a concise project then get to work bringing your good concept to life through these very tangible deliverables. All of these tend to be driven by the research, competitive analysis and collaborative innovations ideally sourced from our collective brilliance model. The driving idea is to "get it right the first time" so you end up with something you are very proud of... a complete foundation with long-term "legs" so that it can keep working for you well beyond the point at which you realize your first sales transactions. Our contributions aim at helping you sell it well right out of the gate and keep selling it well long after running out of that gate. No haphazard band-aids. No underdone weaknesses to cause pain later. Use us to help you do it all right.

When the "get ready" phase is complete, phase 2 should begin. Phase 2 is the "go" phase (as in go to market). At that point the launch marketing plan is executed and your product or service is actually taken to market. The "go" phase typically yields the first rounds of revenues from customers, though you may have already realized other cash infusions prior to the end of "get ready" if your idea requires outside investment to fund going to market. Either way, BI can continue to serve you into the "go" phase as an outsourced team. For example, we can function as your outsourced marketing team, sales and/or service team, etc, OR help you through transitions of those responsibilities to inside growth function infrastructure (by helping you develop a marketing department, sales & service teams, etc).

The "go" phase completes the transition from good idea to money-making product or service. By proving you have something that can make money, a wide range of potential next steps come into play including growing the business, selling the business, partnering, franchising and so on. Various sources of capital are easier to access when the business becomes so tangible (much more so than just a good idea in your head), offering a way to fuel rapid growth beyond what is possible leveraging only direct cash flows. Beyond the initial "go" can also be more rounds of "(keep) going", meaning you may want to simply scale up the business via ongoing marketing campaigns (which we can create, execute and manage for you). Whatever the case, we would love to help you turn your great idea into a lucrative business. Contact us for a free consultation.

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