We all have great ideas, or work with people who do. How many of them actually go anywhere? Brainstorming is fun, coming up with new ideas is exciting. But to turn that fun and excitement into tangible products or business you need to answer some key questions to frame your idea and give it some structure or foundation to help it get off the ground.
I’ve had the privilege to work with some people who are exceptionally bright, visionary, idea-generation machines. For some people this is a hobby. My colleagues tell me I’m good at providing structure to their ideas, so here are the questions I ask, and help them answer:
- What problem are you solving, or what possibility are you offering?
- Why should your customers care? Why should you care?
- What makes you unique, different, or memorable?
- What skills, people, or services are you missing that prevent you from presenting a complete offering?
- What is your business model? How do you make money?
Answering these questions will tell you if have, or don’t have, a viable business concept worth further exploration. All five questions should be answered from the “customers” perspecitve and the need that is being filled. Remember if your business doesn’t have customers, then you don’t have a business, you just have a hobby.