Everyday problems birth amazing ideas. These ideas are born as unique solutions to problems but grow into products and apps that revolutionize how we do things.
The Entrepreneurial Journey can be downright brutal if you are trying to do it alone. That is why our team at IdeaPros creates content weekly to support, encourage and inspire Entrepreneurs.
Our goal is to make YOUR journey to market a little less painful.
Check out the BONUS items throughout this article to link to other helpful content we have created!
Think of this article as a high-level view of the process to get your product from idea to market.
For a deeper dive on all the steps – get our Startup Checklist here.
The Journey from Idea to Launch
The Journey from Idea to Launch begins when you commit 100% to making your product or app a reality. The moment you decide that you are going to break out of the status quo mentality and make big things happen in your life your proverbial bags are packed. You are staring at that roadmap with your GPS set for a Product Launch and the life that Entrepreneurialism can create for you.
Every product or app that we come across in life started as an idea. Inventors (or Entrepreneurs as we lovingly refer to them in our Facebook LIVE sessions) see a problem and find a solution that people are willing to buy.
The goal of an entrepreneurial idea is to solve or close the gap of an existing problem.
You can have a regular job and still come up with amazing entrepreneurial ideas. You just may not have had the luxury to pursue it as quickly as you would like.
“If your mindset is: “what problem is there that needs to be solved that isn’t being solved well?” Then you have an entrepreneurial idea and it may be something that can make a difference in your life and the lives of others.”- Fred Cary
IdeaPros has received over 20,000 ideas and only about 1% have become partners. Just having an idea doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. You must be passionate about your idea and research everything there is to create the very best product that you can.
It is very rare for any one person to have all the expertise and skills that they need to bring a product to market on their own.
At this stop on the map, you have to ask yourself… “Am I capable of developing the product or app on my own?”
The overall cost of developing your idea comes down significantly when you can partner with someone that is experienced at what you are not good at. The time required to create it also drops dramatically. If you need three to four years to develop the product on your own, you can do it in only one or even about a year and a half with help from IdeaPros.
If you have selected good partners, they will help you move through all these phases.
Validating your product or app means defining your market and target audience before taking any other steps. After all, you should know what’s going on in the marketplace, if your product or app solves real problems customers have and what are your competitors doing about it. Evaluate how much money you need to support the launch and initial growth and start talking to your friends and family about investing in your business. Create a quick financial plan to help you asses if your capital can get you to profit. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and talk to your potential customers about your idea. Don’t forget validation is an on-going process that should be present in every phase of the journey!
“You can’t build a product until you know what you’re building, who you’re building it for, how much they will pay for it and what is it going to cost you.” — Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros.
Think about an evocative name, logo, and tagline for your business, as these are the elements that will differentiate you from the competition. Your name should be evocative and memorable which is why it is a good idea to hire a professional to help you with the naming process. Ensure that no one else is using the same trademark you are through a trademark search. Think about your virtual presence by registering a domain and securing social media profiles for the company. Decide on a legal or business structure of your company and apply for an EIN # with the IRS and local or state business licenses.
ENGINEERING / DEVELOPMENT
Before you start with the prototype, refine your product or app to be sure it can be engineered. Create a rough prototype that won’t look exactly like the product, but it will work like the product. Once you have it in CAD, send it to the manufacturers or app developers to estimate costs. Work with an experienced team of engineers or developers that will give you constructive feedback. Evaluate how much capital is required to launch the product and when you can expect profit. Make an advertising plan and begin networking with pre-marketing materials. Define the market you want to pursue and your target customer. Create a short, clear and concise Pitch Deck that will define the problem you want to solve. Craft quality Marketing, Sales and Financial plans.
Build an audience for your product or app and then create a buzz about it on every social media out there. Engage influencers, reporters, even local celebrities. If you have the budget, pay to get the word out. If your budget is limited, learn more about guerilla marketing. For instance, build a relationship with your audience and create superfans that will be in love with your product and your message. Design an attention-grabbing website and a landing page with a sign-up form where you will offer pre-sales. Create interesting, punchy social media content that will be shared and help you go viral. Invest in Google AdWords, FB, and IG ads. Have fun!
Most people instinctively want to move to manufacturing as soon as they have a working prototype so they can start making money. But the danger in manufacturing too early is that you may end up with a garage full of products.
Our philosophy at IdeaPros is to generate interest by establishing a database of interested customers. Prove that people want it BEFORE you invest thousands in merchandise. In other words, presell first.
IdeaPros Launchpad is a great platform for young and innovative entrepreneurs to showcase their products experiment with their products and see how it performs. In essence, it is a launching platform that offers huge discounts for customers.
If a product is not performing as well as the others, we can always take it down, tweak a thing or two, and put it up again. The goal is to see if it performs well and adjust if it’s not.
Whether you want to partner with us or just use our weekly lives to gain the knowledge you need, we look forward to helping you develop your product or app.
The final phase of an entrepreneurial journey is the launch.
If you have an app, you launch by successfully getting your app in the Apple Store or on Google Play. Your very next focus is to entice as many people as possible to download.
If you have a physical product, there are several distribution channels that you can launch to:
- Direct Sales via your own website
- Amazon / Walmart / Ebay
- Licensing Deals
Special Guest, Matt Fichtner
We interviewed MATT FICHTNER, Director of Online Sales at IdeaPros. Watch the video above to hear about his success using AMAZON for his Journey from Idea to Launch as a Partner of IdeaPros and learn about his Journey.
Mr. Fichtner is a top seller on Amazon and an expert online marketer. He has 11 years active duty as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps. His entrepreneurial journey began while completing his capstone project for his MBA program at the University of Southern California and did over $250,000 in sales on Amazon by the end of the calendar year. With eight different products selling on Amazon, Matt continues to add more as fast as he can.
A member in many Amazon business groups and online selling masterminds, Mr. Fichtner has been mentored by some of the most successful online sellers in the world. Expanding his own sales channels, he looks forward to helping people get their ideas off the ground utilizing the power of Amazon and online pre-orders.
IdeaPros is a Super Venture Partner™ who has the resources, experience, and tools to help you succeed at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest in the success of their idea. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.
Want to see products we have launched? Check out IdeaPros Launchpad!