Everyone and anyone – be it an Entrepreneur, Employee or Head of the Organization… today, every one is focusing on Innovation and how to go up the value chain. This post of mine is inspired by a presentation I saw (I sincerely apologize as I am not able to retrace the presentation) on how small thoughts can change the way we can package a service.
Project Management is one key focus area which most of the start-up community ignores when they are beginning. There is no time to define the Organization Project Life cycle. I do agree and am with you on this. However, once we start looking into this area, I assure you that your innovation will definitely have a better output.
You have got a great idea! and you confirmed that the world has been waiting for your innovation to come into market That’s great and good news, however, before you put in your heart and soul, you need to look into the viability of your solution, how much would it cost to make your dream a reality, time to market and end of the day the returns which you are going to get.
Well, now you are at the first step and desperately waiting for your solution/product to come into the market. Before you begin, the best practice is to get inputs from your family and friends (assuming that they are your customers) if they are going to use your innovation in their daily lives. It makes a lot of sense with family and friends because they critic it very well and give you a honest feedback. If you are not satisfied with their feedback, go out into the market and speak to potential customers take their feedback. If 5 out of 10 acknowledge you for your idea, then you can dive deep and see what else they want / do not want. Accordingly shape up your idea so that you increase the chances of the 5 to definitely buy your innovation.
Work on the Costing
As you are working towards taking feedback for your innovation, also ask your ‘potential customers’ how much they are willing to spend if a product like yours is available in the market. This is to understand/analyze/assess how your idea is accepted into the system. With this base information, you can reverse-engineer your costing model. Instead of you fixing the price, go with the price what people are willing to spend. This makes sense for you on the long run. It is better to sell 100 numbers at Re.1, rather than selling 10 numbers at Rs.10. Of course, this entirely depends on who are your target customers and what problem your solution would solve.
Time to Market
The next aspect which you need to consider is the “Time to Market”. You are starting from the scratch and you definitely need to have enough funds and plan to take your innovation into market. With this analysis in place, you are very sure of how your project will shape up and also gives you the flexibility of time to build a quality solution.
Well, now you have potential customers feedback, cost of your innovation and time to market. This gives you a clear picture of how things should be running for you. These become your milestones and ensure you are in track all the time, when ever you are missing your internal deadlines.
During your journey in giving shape to your innovation, you will also need to keep working on how you are going to structure your Market entry and sales. How are you going to distribute your solution? (Internet, wholesale, retail etc). Identifying how your innovation is going to reach its customer is very important. Vague aspects like I will find someone to stock my product, will be available for download from the website etc are all very vague answers. Remember, if your innovation does not reach the right customer, at the right time and in the right way, then all your efforts are totally waste.
What are your revenue streams? How are the customers going to pay? If yours is a wholesale/retail innovation, do you have the commission structure in place? Have you thought about the branding and positioning? We usually miss these small things. Right?
Last but not the least, ensure you have required licenses and approvals from the local authorities to ensure that these things do not delay your innovation entry to the market. The customer cannot wait and even you too…