Every business starts with a great idea, but not all ideas are born equal. By understanding your idea, you have more chance of profiting from it. There two main types of business idea: Some are truly original, and lead to completely new business models, or game-changing products. Others are merely an improvement on an existing idea. Both types can lead to highly profitable businesses!
A genuinely original idea is often the most difficult to turn into profit. Your idea may be so far ahead of its time that investors do not understand it. Some ideas are impossible to develop because the required technology still doesn’t exist. Creating new technology can take years, and be very expensive.
Many would-be entrepreneurs with an original idea become very secretive. They worry that someone else will steal it, and that they will miss out. This means that they work in isolation, develop tunnel-vision, and fail to ask for advice from potential mentors.
It is almost always a good idea to seek advice from experienced business people. They will be able to advise you how to monetise your idea, and even introduce you to investors. If you are worried about having your idea stolen, choose a business mentor who operates in a different industry. They will know enough to tell you whether your idea has potential.
Improvements on Existing Ideas
If you have thought of a better way doing something, or improved on a common product, your idea is easier to monetise. Try taking it to a business that is already involved in the relevant industry. They will be able to tell you if it is commercially viable, and may even want to licence it from you. A licence means that you don’t have to worry about doing your own marketing and sales, or about setting up a manufacturing operation.
With this type of idea, you can develop it by studying companies that have similar products on the market. Is there a revenue model that is particularly profitable? Can you find a manufacturing technique that cuts costs without affecting quality? With improvement ideas, you can easily conduct market research, and find out how much potential customers are willing to pay for your improvement.
Protecting Your Idea
Patenting your idea before it is fully developed can be a huge waste of money. An early patent application may not cover your idea if it evolves over time, meaning that you have to pay a second load of fees.
Instead of a full-blown patent, consider a provisional application. These give you the right to put “patent pending” on your prototype, and allow you a year to develop your idea further, before you need to pay for a full patent application.
Ideas are the lifeblood of business! A good idea can be your ticket to riches and success. Make sure you understand exactly what sort of idea you are dealing with. Then, you will know how to develop it, and start to profit from it.