(Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
Entrepreneur-Inventor-Educator Stephen Key had a recent column at the Entrepreneur blog about the five essential ingredients of a winning business idea
. As a guy who has been creating products and helping others do the same for thirty years, he just might know what he is talking about:
- A substantial market. If your idea doesn’t appeal to people, you might spend too much time and money getting the item to market. Sure, revolutionary products don’t have markets yet. But, you can do research to find out whether there would be a market for your product before committing too many resources.
- Existing manufacturing technology. If it must be built, and the technology must be created to manufacture your product economically, someone will have to invest in that technology. Again, this doesn’t mean that you cannot succeed, but it is one thing to have to work hard to succeed, and another entirely to have to work hard so that you can begin to start working hard to make your idea succeed.
- An acceptable retail price point. If you don’t have a good price point, then you will have trouble getting retailers to stock your product. If your cost to manufacture is too great to support the retail price, you need to reconsider your strategy. Perhaps you can find another way to produce? Can you position your product differently?
- A benefit that is summarized in a single sentence. Benefits, not features are what people buy. If it is too hard for people to understand (or remember) why they should buy your product, you will struggle. Einstein said that people haven’t mastered a subject until they can explain it simply. Can you explain your product’s benefits simply?
- A user-friendly interface. We often think of “interface” and computers, but if your users/customers cannot figure out how to use your product, will they continue to use it? Key shares a story about a rotating label technology that he created. He put a picture of a hand turning a label on the label so people would know what to do.
5 Essential Ingredients of a Winning Business Idea at Entrepreneur
Let’s face it, successful people think differently than others. Even if you don’t want to be a business owner yourself, do you want to have a better family life? Church? Club? Cause? It doesn’t matter what you want to do well, this set of 8 common characteristics of successful business owners by Dave Lavinsky on Small Business Trends is a great group of tips:
- Have a Crystal Clear Vision. More than anything, if you want to achieve a goal, you must be absolutely clear about what you are trying to accomplish.
- Have a Written Strategic Plan. If your goal is big, you need to think long-term. Want to fit this to your family? What do you want to be able to do with and for your kids as they grow up? I promise you, Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” is in store for you if you don’t think about this.
- Set Shorter-Term Goals. You have to bridge the gap between now and that strategic plan. Setting and achieving shorter term goals will give you the confidence to succeed.
- Ongoing Education. You will need to learn and grow to become the person who can carry out your big goals. Formal education may or may not be what you need, but getting the knowledge (and connections) you need to succeed is critical.
- Satisfy Your Customers. Whether a business, family, church, cause, you are serving someone in the end. What do they really want? Find out and your plans and goals will be strengthened.
- Be a Great Marketer. I used to think I couldn’t sell. Then someone pointed out that to win the hot girl who became my wife, I must have had a great sales pitch! Marketing is about creating awareness and beginning the process of motivating others to take actions. If you help them win, you can win, too.
- Be Laser-Focused in Your Work. There are lots of things you could do. But to succeed with your goal, you have to settle on the limited number of things that will help you get it done. When you finish, then think about something else to do.
- . Edison famously found 10,000 ways you could not make a practical light bulb. Are you willing to go the distance for your goal? As sales great Tom Hopkins likes to say, “I never see failure as failure, but as the price I must pay to eventually win!”
8 Common Characteristics of Successful Business Owners at Small Business Trends.
Posted in Business, Leadership, My Favorites
- Tagged business, Cat's in the Cradle, customer service, customers, Dave Lavinsky, education, giving up, goals, Harry Chapin, Marketing, Small Business Trends, strategic plan, Thomas Edison, Tom Hopkins, vision