- Identify a monetizable problem.
- Addressing the core needs of the target market develop a specific/focused solution.
- Create a very rough prototype that addresses the specific needs of the intended customer.
- Continually adapt the prototype based on customer feedback. The prototype should constantly be evolving based on feedback from those who will be buying the product/service.
- Develop the “go-to-market” strategy with the prototype findings and with thorough industry analysis.
- Soft launch on a lean budget.
- Measure and validate intiial pricing and adjust if necessary. Tweak the financial model and get a firm grasp of the economics of the business.
- Document all data and procedures to make checklists and establish the system. (collect customer info, develop database, document all procedural efficiencies, establish marketing metrics, test ad campaigns and the most effective portals to deliver the marketing message through and have detailed daily, weekly and monthly Profit and Loss statements)
- Once the core systems model is developed constantly reevaluate the offering based on continual learning from the customer.
- Rinse and Repeat. (Either scale the business or use this process to pursue the next venture)
Notice the repeating theme?… KEEP THE CUSTOMER INVOLVED!
Business ventures go astray, some early-on some later, when they start creating offerings or adding features they “think” customers will want. Don’t fall prey to this common business mistake, solve the customer’s “job-to-be-done” not yours.
Is there anything worse than unrealized potential?
It would almost be easier, mentally, to have no potential than a boat-load of potential and never see it realized. This goes for people with potential as well as business opportunities. Since business is my focus I will be referring to the latter.
Potential is what forms partnership, solicits investors, and triggers the release of dopamine in our brains which gives us that optimistic feeling that “we could be on to something huge”. Potential is what every entrepreneur seeks, they keep grinding with the hope that the future has something better in store for them than the present. Entrepreneurs pursue ventures that have a great potential return on investment and this “potential” (ROI) is what they seek to measure to determine if the payoff will be worth the effort.
Essentially all business deals come down to the assessment of their potential. Those that can spot potential where it is not evident and those that can spot it, before “the herd”, will be successful. That is why unfulfilled potential is the absolute worst! You think every scenario has been thought of yet, somehow, one negative option slips through the crack and kills a lucrative deal. It’s those deals that are a complete win-win for both sides that are the hardest to stomach when they don’t go through.
In life and business there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows, that is a fact. The deepest valleys, which are the most difficult to get through, are the ones that started with the most potential but for one reason or another were never able to be realized. But bouncing back from unprofitable deals is a major key to success. The faster you can “get over” a perfect deal gone bad and correct course the closer you will be to your next breakthrough!
I know it hurts to have that perfect deal slip through your fingers, possibly by no fault of your own, but you must learn what you can from the situation, dust your feet off and move on to the next deal… Your future success depends on it!