Imagine you could ask any question regarding your business and getting your product or app to market. It would make your life so much easier if you could get the help you need, wouldn’t it? Well, imagine no more! We asked Fred Cary, CEO of IdeaPros, to share his vast knowledge and experience with his fellow entrepreneurs.
There is a free checklist on our website that lays out everything you need to do as an entrepreneur. But, the job of taking your entrepreneurial idea and turning it into a product that is going to sell is a very complicated journey.
“A brain surgeon could give you a list of the steps that need to take place to do a successful surgery. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to do it on your own.” – Fred Cary
Start with compartmentalizing your idea. If it is amazing as you think, you should be able to explain it to people in three to four sentences. This is called an elevator pitch. Don’t try to do it alone. Get a friend or family member on board because this journey requires time, energy, and money.
Launching even a small product can cost from $500,000 to a million dollars and take three to five years of your life. You are unlikely to get everything right. Understand your market: who are the competitors and who are the customers, what are the competitors doing well and what badly, and why would customers prefer your product over theirs? If you can’t figure those things out, don’t go any further. Once you understand why your solution will work well with your target audience then you can go through other steps on the list.
There are multiple ways to do it from credit facilities and SBA type loans. If you have a good credit score and an existing business to crowdfunding or pre-sales, you can do pre-sales on your website or through affiliate marketing agencies, like Advertise Purple, that can help you start driving traffic.
“If you can find a way to get pre-orders, let those pre-orders pay for the manufacturing then you’re on your way to doing something good.” – Fred Cary
But even with pre-orders, you will need money for advertising and reaching your customers. With a limited budget affiliate marketing agencies are a good option. If you have more resources, look at crowdfunding where once you pay initial upfront fees. And if it tests well, you can get financing for the campaign.
Advertise Purple won’t work with you if you don’t have some traction and sales, but you can check other platforms for affiliate marketing, such as ShareASale or CommissionJunction. Be careful when negotiating the deal, you don’t want to pay commission before you’ve even sold anything. The idea is that they drive traffic to your website without you spending any money and when someone makes a purchase then you pay them a percentage fee.
You can if you are targeting that corporation in particular and showing them how their sponsorship will look like on your product. So if you want to send promotional material to Apple, for example, you’re certainly welcome to use their logo. But you shouldn’t use their logo on your website and promotional material without their permission.
There are very few circumstances where you’re going to need an old fashioned 50-60 page business plan. Don’t make extensive projections for a company that hasn’t sold anything yet. Fit on one page: what you are doing, what the demand is, which problem you are solving, and what is in it for anybody who wants to get involved with you. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can have a dialogue about how you would build the business in the next one or two years. Learn more about this topic on our blog.
Entrepreneurs often don’t understand the importance of the naming and positioning part of the process. Sometimes they come up with a descriptive name for their product or app and consider it done. The reality is that your name is what separates you from the competition, and it is the only thing that will attract people to your product, as they can’t touch, feel, or try it. You don’t want to be like your competitors, you want to disrupt the existing situation.
“You want a name that’s evocative, memorable, and makes people think about what it means, what it stands for, what it does, and why that name? Cause the more people to think about it, the more attached they’re going to become to it.” – Fred Cary
Think of brands like Caterpillar, Apple, or Virgin and how they disrupted their industries. They didn’t describe their products, but you can get an emotional sense of what those products are.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.