This step deals with number 1, you will learn number 2 and 3 by the time you’ve completed this guide.
I remember one participant I was trying to help decide between the two ideas she had put on her website. The first was a recruitment agency and the second was care packages for hen parties. Yes, they were both on the same website!
If you are someone that has more than one business idea then you need to narrow it down and focus. If you split your focus between two or even three ideas you won’t make the progress you want to. Focus on one idea at once
Out of all your business ideas, based on where your head is at right now, what’s your best guess as to the idea that:
Simon and Alan use this method for choosing business ideas that they want to focus on at the PopUp Business School team meetings. It makes it easy to see where you should focus.
First get a pad of sticky notes and write each of your ideas on a separate note.
Second create a scale with one axis showing excitement from 1 – 10 and the other access show ease to start-up from 1 – 10.
Then take the sticky post it notes and stick them on your grid 1 by 1. If you have a friend to help you with it, even better!
Once you have finished if you have an idea in Box B, you may have found the one! This is the one that gets you out of bed in the morning and you can start quickly and easily
If your ideas are in Box A - You have great ambition but are probably stuck because the thing you’re excited about is too big, too ambitious, too perfect. To knock it into Box B you need to be creative and come up with ideas to answer these questions:
What could you do this this idea to make it brilliant? What twist to this idea would make you different to the competition (like the zombie fitness trainer).
We meet lots of people who try and run with three, four even five business ideas at once. It’s because they’re scared! We’re all scared! What if it doesn’t work? What if I don’t chose the right idea? The people who try and run with more than one business ideas at once are ALWAYS the ones who will get frustrated, quit and have to take a job instead.
If you’re still left with more than one idea, like some of the artists and makers we meet, answer this question:
Out of all of your ideas, which is most special? Which of your creative talents makes people go ‘wow! I’ve never heard of that before?’
There are, broadly speaking two types of start-up we meet.
Type 1 – ‘I’ve got a great idea and I think I can make money out of it.’
Type 2 – ‘I love doing XXXXXX, I just need to figure out how to make money out of it.’
Guess which one is still trading in three years? Type 2 of course!
One of the best pieces of advice I as given in the early days was this:
Fall in love with your business idea don’t be seduced by it
(In Step 3: The Great Funding Lie, we’ll give you the secret to this).
For example, wouldn’t be amazing to have a book published? To see it there on the shelf! However the thought of having to write a thousand words a day for the next 200 days? Less exciting? Unless writing is what you love doing, yes! When you’re choosing the idea to go with it’s not just your excitement for the idea, it’s the activity you have to do every day to make happen! That’s the stuff to fall in love with. And once you’ve chosen, go all in.