I have this idea, but what do I do next?

Photo by Andy Cardiff. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

So, I have this idea…

I get a lot of emails from mums who either want to start a home business or they have a home business and want to expand it, try a new product or service, or even start a new side biz. They all seem to have some variation of the same question: “I have this idea, but what do I do next?”

Before you go off purchasing a domain name, figuring out a pricing structure, making your new product, or advertising your new biz idea, my suggestion is to do your research.

I know, I know… people see that dreaded term “market research” and immediately feel stuck. “I don’t know who to ask. I don’t know where to find information. I don’t know how to find the answers I am looking for.” And what often ends up happening is the idea stays on the shelf OR the other end of the spectrum, the person goes ahead with the idea without having enough information to make it fly.

So instead of thinking about it as “market research” (cue scary music) think of it as “talking about your idea”. Yep, that is it. For now, just talk about your idea. Out loud. With real people.

What can you ask?

  • Does anyone feel stuck with…
  • Does anyone need help with…
  • Does anyone have a question about…
  • If you could have anything at all in relation to ____ what would it be?
  • What is holding you back from…
  • What are your frustrations when it comes to…
  • When it comes to ____ what would be your ultimate fantasy?
  • What was the most irritating experience you have had with…
  • When it comes to ____ what is the one thing you are always looking for, but can never find?
  • Is there a product/service in relation to ____ that you just wish someone would offer already?

Where can you ask it?

  • Hop on to your social media accounts and start asking questions related to your idea.
  • When you are out with your friends or chatting with people at the gym or standing around waiting at the school, ask the same questions.
  • Look for people offering complementary or related products/services and talk to them.
  • Listen in on conversations (on facebook, twitter, blogs, forums) and make note of what others are talking about.
  • Write articles for your blog or complementary blogs/publications that ask these questions and share your own experiences.

How can it help you?

  • Get clear on who your specific target audience is (because it is easier to sell something to someone who already wants it)
  • Figure out what your product/service/biz idea needs to BE in order to meet the needs of those people
  • Find out what objections already exist when it comes to your idea so you can think of ways to address them, right from the start
  • Discover people who would want to trial your service or test out your product – you get to refine your idea and they get a low risk way to get what they need, plus you can start gathering testimonials
  • Start building an audience of people who are already interested in your idea before you even launch it

Some people feel afraid to ‘release their idea’ before it is ready

perhaps they are worried it will flop, perhaps they are worried it will be copied – but it is important to work past that fear and just start talking about that idea out loud. Not only will you gain valuable insight but you will start to build your confidence – because in the end, if you can’t even talk about it, how will you sell it?

What is one biz idea that you have right now? Your goal for the day – find someone to talk about it with!

About Karen Gunton

karen gunton is a blogger, photographer, designer & champion of women in biz with her sites buildalittlebiz.com & shinelittlebiz.com. she delivers genuine, concrete help to little biz builders every week with her newsletter the toolbox - her favorite thing to hear from subscribers is that the toolbox is better than the weekend paper, and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine for some awesome weekend reading.

  • Studiowithoutwalls

    Right On!  You break this down to manageable tasks with Great Questions!