Innovation insight

Right idea, right business, right technology.
What turns a great idea into a great business?

Building a business idea comes under the banner of innovation, and innovation is one of the hardest business challenges to conquer. Unlike an existing business, you may well be starting with little business intelligence, no client base, an unknown price point, no brand identity,… the list goes on. So when an Entrepreneur wants to build a new business, or a corporation wants to innovate by developing new products, how do they do it?

This is a simple outline of the observations into the successful start-ups in new and existing businesses that I have been involved in over the years. The article is designed for you to reflect on the key points I have witnessed. In really simple term it boils down to four key areas:

  • Understanding what problem your idea solves
  • Simple proof of concept — does the idea work as a business?
  • A business plan that also defines the Tech. build plan
  • Tech. plan that reflects user journey

What problem does your idea solve?

If you solve a problem, you have a business. All commercial businesses solve problems. For example Dentists fix teeth, Medicine cures or controls disease, Tax Accountants minimise your tax liability and Google allows you to quickly find the information you are searching for.

In every example across all these Industries, no matter how diverse, problems are being solved.

So what is the problem you solve?

Simple proof of concept

Work out the bare minimum of what you need to run your business manually. Can you run it on a spreadsheet?. How does your business operate?, what is the user journey? Build a manually-operated version of your business and test it. Find out how your target market will react to it; Will they purchase? Their feedback will help define and shape your business.

Planning your business

Knowing your idea solves a problem and having soft-launched to prove it, you can better explore your business plan in more detail. Questions to consider are:

  • What is your exit strategy? Are you building an empire or looking to sell your business?
  • Communicate the benefits of your business — how does what you offer improve people’s lives?
  • Research your market and understand your competition
  • Find out how big your market is and where it is located
  • Work out your price point
  • Evaluate your costs of development including salaries and promotional costs
  • Estimate sales
  • Calculate your potential income

Overall a well-researched Business Plan will determine the Tech. you need to serve your business

Planning your tech.

Where most go wrong is focussing on how technology works rather than what technology can do. In simple terms Tech. is a vehicle that delivers information that leads to an efficient conclusion.

Too many times we have seen overly complicated programming that has lead to loss of User engagement, so the key considerations are:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it efficient
  • Focus on how quickly and competently the platform solves the problem
  • Deliver Users the benefits they seek, not features

When planning, as a general guideline imagine that 20% of your platform will drive 80% of your business.

When it comes to choosing the right people to build your platform, the real value of a Tech. firm is how they understand your business and how they work with you to understand your goals. Every Tech. Agency is good at technology. The difference is either the price you pay for the build or the price you pay by ending up with technology that doesn’t easily solve the problem. It depends on how your Tech. Agency invests in you. Are they treating you as a transactional project-build or a long-term Client?

Jonathan is a member of the u2i team, a US Tech. Development Agency

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