Days have changed and so has Entrepreneurship. Until very recently, if you have an amazing/cool idea (as per your rating), you write your thoughts on paper, share it with family and potential investors and look for some angel funding or formal Investment to give shape to your idea. In cases where you do your homework well, you go around doing the ground work asking people of their views on your idea, make modifications and re-design your Innovation.
Today, we have the new parameters of Entrepreneurship shaping up. Innovations are shaping the future. People are not only expecting better solutions for problems, but smarter ones. The future of Entrepreneurship and Innovation lies in creating the market and just not bringing out new solutions.
What is Creating New Market?
Let me start with an Illustration – Today, in developing countries, HealthCare is one of the primary focus for building a healthier future. However, with no strong HealthCare framework for meeting the demands of hungry consumers, HealthCare organizations (Hospitals and Medical Schools) design and operate very independently. What misses is the “integrator” for providing Quality HealthCare. Each organization has its own way of handling medical records and the system. Instead, “single-point” solutions is the need of the day. This is not the problem in India, but across the world.
The next aspect of Innovating for the future demands “Education”. Educating the customer gives better mileage to the Innovation rather than creating something and leaving it for the customer to read and understand.
One of the most recent advertisements (advertisements are the closest to Customer Education) I saw and loved its thoughtfulness is the Volkswagen Polo Ground Clearance advertisement. VW came to India just few Years ago and they have been really bombarding commercials (which make sense to Indian Customer) of their brand and in just a very short period of time have become a very common name. Mercedes, Honda, Toyota have been in India for long enough but still not many people cannot identify the car (at least few models). What i am referring to here is the time to market and customer education (awareness).
Any Innovation does not make sense unless it reaches its target customer and also creates a sizeable customer base.
How to Create your Market?
- Create a prototype of your idea (can be as simple and stupid as you want, but which gives a near picture of what the final Innovation would look like).
- Associate your Innovation to a cost.
- Educate your potential buyer on how it can ease out their effort in addressing the problem you are solving (Provide the USP)
- Ask them to try and give you feedback.
- Will they buy your Innovation at the price you have fixed or do they think twice and bargain??
After you win confidence of your potential customers, try it with outsiders (colleagues, acquaintances etc) and see what their reaction would be. Will they buy and use?
The last aspect what you need to consider is the longevity of your Innovation. How long will it take your customer to come back? If your customer has to come back regularly, what is that which makes them come back to you and not your competitors? How long can you sustain your customers before loosing them? Will they come back?
If your Innovation is a one time solution, how effective it is and what is the your Business Model to add enhancements and keep your market going?
…This chain goes on.
Remember to always Educate your customer on what particular problem your Innovation will solve, which makes meaning and this will help you see a new world of opportunities opening up.