- 6.1 -

Workshop: Checklist for generating a brilliant idea

Here is a list of steps for developing your business concept to the very best it can be. The list gives you 20 points to remember and actions to take and a practical summary of each of this book’s earlier chapters. Share this list with your team and work together to develop and improve your idea!

What you have here is really more than just a list. It’s a recipe – a recipe for a fantastic company based on a brilliant idea.

The list is split up in the following six “ingredients”:

  1. Uniqueness
  2. Company profile
  3. Money
  4. Strategy
  5. The idea
  6. Competitors

1. Uniqueness

A. Differentiation

Describe how your idea is different from your competitors’ (at least five sentence about this). List your company’s USPs.

B. Name and logo

What have you decided to call your idea? Should your company name and logo reflect this? The best company name clearly includes or describes the product(s) or service(s) you provide. It should be unique, remarkable, easily distinguished from your competitors’ names, and easy to recognize and remember. The name doesn’t necessarily have to be easy to spell, as long as it’s easily recognized, and readily found using Google.

C. Disrupt

This is the way to go. Change the world as it’s perceived within your field. Think of Skype, and how it changed phone calling. Disrupting is a crucial part of building a brilliant idea. Understand this and you will rock. Basically it means to change how people think a given problem can be solved.

2. Profile

A. Website

Make sure your website reflects a professional profile, both remarkable and different from your competitors. Make it clear that your product or service IS different from your competitors’ and from anything that might be perceived as a substitute, and HOW it’s different.

B. Team

Are you ready with the right team? Do you know how to hire the right people? If not, you’ll learn more about recruitment for a start-up, in a later section (page 169).

C. Brand

How are you branding your company? What design and visual profile are you using? Ensure your brand is special and properly reflects your company spirit.

3. Money

A. Pricing model

Will your pricing model work? That is, can you reasonably expect to be profitable? Have you differentiated your pricing from your competitors’?

B. Market support

Is there room for your company within its target market? Will the market support your pricing model so that you’ll be profitable? If the answer to either question is no, should you narrow or extend your market?

C. Users’ problem and your solution

Is the user’s problem serious enough that he knows he needs to solve it? Is your solution sufficiently inviting, practical and affordable to be popular and profitable? (Getting back to one of the basics of a successful start-up, you want to change the way people currently solve a particular problem or meet a particular need.)

D. Business model

Is your business model designed so that money will flow in the right direction (that is, to you)? What is your projected YARPU? What is your projected cash flow? What is your projected CAC?

4. Strategy

A. Market

What is the current state of your target niche? Make sure you understand the market, how it functions, and how your competitors are serving it. An explosive market generates an explosive company. Make sure that there is a viable market for your product out there.

B. Second-mover advantage

Will you be a first mover in your target market (often more costly and risky), or a second mover (more economical and efficient)? How will your choice affect your company and its approach?

C. Are you entering the market in a non-traditional way?

Some of the best start-up companies entered their target markets in non-traditional ways. They disrupted the existing framework and offered a new and unique way of thinking about a problem and provided a comprehensive solution.

5. The idea

A. Testing

How have you tested your idea? Who was the target group? How did you conduct your testing? Has your idea been proven as workable and viable?

B. Uniqueness, simplicity and complexity

Is the idea simple and unique, and is the solution difficult to copy? How can you protect your idea?

C. Does your idea work?

Make very certain your idea actually works, and in such a way that it will be popular and profitable.

6. Competitors

A. How do they do it?

Look at your competitors and find out how they do things – everything from product development to marketing to delivery and customer service.

B. Money

Do your competitors make money? How?

C. Numbers

Are there many competitors, or just a few? Why? Make sure your idea will put you into the “unique area.”

D. Review

The final step is to do a review of your answers to each of the previous points on this checklist. Look for points where you can add to, subtract from or otherwise adjust your idea and plans. How can your plan be made even more perfect?

Good luck!

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