“A good business idea solves a specific problem for a particular group of people in a way that removes their objections to using the solution and is different from what other competing businesses are doing”
Susan Jones ReadysetStartup.com
With only a month to go before the Deutsche Bank Award in Creative Practice launches on Wednesday 15th January 2014, many final year GSA students will be contemplating what fantastic idea they can submit to win the £10, 000 prize on offer. (For further details of Deutsche Bank Award can be found on: https://gsacareers.wordpress.com/deutsche-bank-award-in-creative-practice/)
For creative people, generating innovative ideas and solutions to projects and problems is what they love to do. They thrive on possibilities, problem solving and creating options, often finding the tricky bit is how to evaluate and narrow down choices to take forward. This can be certainly true when thinking of ideas that can be taken forward within a creative business context.
We all know that for every great creative business idea there are hundreds of unsuccessful ones. The ideas that don’t make it, normally have a couple of things in common: poor research and evaluation. This is usually due to the entrepreneur being so excited by their idea, that they rush into developing it without fully testing it in the market or taking on-board any signs that it might not be such a great idea after all. This can be costly and time consuming. Make sure that you avoid this mistake by remembering to stay objective, as well as passionate about your idea.
Here are three key points to consider when evaluating your idea to ensure that it is a successful one :
- Define your idea and understand it’s purpose…what problem is your idea solving, who is the audience for this idea, what is its unique selling point (USP) ? Defining your idea fully will help you to identify your customer and articulate why there is a need of your idea. See 10 ways to evaluate my business idea for Dummies for some critical questions to consider regarding your idea: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ten-ways-to-evaluate-a-new-business-idea.html
- Undertake real market research…. Market research is key to articulating your idea’s value to others. As always make sure that you gain proper facts and figures…guessing is free but highly unreliable. Great market research combines quantitative and qualitative research (http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/market-research/qualitative-or-quantitative-which-method-is-for-you-) and will help you to develop and refine your idea. Want to find out more about researching the market. This article from Entrepreneur website is useful: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/70518 and resources at the Design Trust: http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/the-design-doctor-how-can-i-do-market-research/
- Listen to advice and feedback…aim to ask a range of your potential audience about your idea. Remember variety is really important here. Family and friends are often highly supportive, but might not be very objective. Test your idea thoroughly. Be prepared to listen to all advice, good and bad and stay flexible. Great ideas will undertake various development stages before being fully ready for its market.
Here are some further links to evaluating your ideas
- Write to done: 7 steps to creativity: http://writetodone.com/7-steps-to-creativity-how-to-have-ideas/
- The Design Crowd: http://blog.designcrowd.co.uk/article/279/how-to-come-up-with-creative-ideas-5-step-creative-process
- SCAMPER: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_02.htm
- Mindtools creative problem solving: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_CT.htm
How to Evaluate Ideas:
- Check list for Evaluating your idea: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/81940
- How to create a winning business idea: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2012/07/10/how-to-create-a-world-class-business-idea-in-six-easy-steps/
- Destination Innovation: http://www.destination-innovation.com/articles/?p=459
- Innovation Tool box: http://www.innovationtoolbox.com.au/evaluate-idea
- Intellectual Property Office: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
- Protecting my Business idea, Barclays Business Tools : http://www.barclays.co.uk/Startupsupport/Protectingmybusinessidea/P1242586445672
- The Design Trust: http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/tag/intellectual-property/