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Executing a Business Idea in a time of crises

Many countries now face the need to bring communities into a lockdown due to the coronavirus. While every country’s response is unique, many people have been sent home by their employer for 2 weeks until the situation is under control. 

This can be a great opportunity to either work on a new business venture or start a successful side hustle that will create an additional stream of income for you. Maybe you had an idea in your head for a long time and had to place it on hold. This is a great time to get busy. 

So you have an idea. Great! The question that you should ask yourself now is: Would there be a market for my business idea?

I see this happen all the time: Individuals tell me about their business concepts but they have yet to confirm (or even look into) whether there is a space for it in the marketplace. 

Here are three key steps that you can follow to make sure there is a market for your business idea:

1. Before implementing anything, spend time researching. This is a perfect time to do extensive research on potential competitors, Keyword search, price comparison, and the list goes on. The primary goal is to find out if there is a market to support your product.

2. Put your ideas to the test. These days, it’s quite easy to do this. Many people make the mistake of keeping their ideas a secret because they’re afraid someone might steal them. I advise the opposite. Share your ideas, wisely, of course. There are many ways that you can share your ideas without giving them all away. If you’re selling a product for motorcycle riders, don’t share it with people who don’t own motorcycles. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can create polls and share them with all your followers. 

3. Measure the demand. Find out what your competitors are selling. Are they selling the same product, or something similar? Analyze their social media accounts and what their followers are saying. Reading reviews is a great way of measuring demand and satisfaction for existing products.

I often use the Lean Startup methodology to validate my ideas that I feel are worth pursuing. This allows me to be more innovative, it saves me time, and I become more successful in launching my ideas. Don’t get yourself stuck with an idea that doesn’t have a market! 

As you do your part in social distancing, take this time to learn, plan, or grow your business. Think of new ideas, marketing concepts, ways that you can bring value to the market place, or even spend some time in online networking. 

I have an idea for a mobile app, what should I do next?

So you want to create a mobile app but you don’t know where to start? Here are 5 steps to help you begin the process of creating your mobile app.

Step 1: Write down your ideas
When you begin to create your vision for your mobile app, you want to write down all your ideas. The reason for this is, you are thinking about an idea, and as soon as you think about other things you tend to forget what it was or it isn’t the same concept as it were when you thought about it initially. Also, you can always go back to the written idea and adjust it if you need too.

Another reason to write down your ideas is when you first had the idea in your thoughts, the brain tends to come up with all kinds of scenarios about the idea which most likely you can toss out. But if you write it down without hesitation, then you have more room to be creative with the idea then second-guessing yourself in your mind. So, take out that pen and paper and write it down!

Step 2: Craft your value proposition
Crafting your value proposition is important. The reason for this is
because you are telling your users exactly what you do and promising them a good value. When a visitor goes on your mobile app, it takes five seconds to convince them why you are worth their time. New users are always looking for quick answers. Think about these questions when thinking of users, “Who are you? What do you do? How will this benefit me?” When crafting the ‘perfect value proposition’: a short, sharp description of your business and why it’s valuable.

It’s the first thing users should see when visiting your mobile app. Your value proposition has to be a detailed description of your service describing exactly what you do and why you are doing what you are doing, even to what truly sets you apart and why these users need your product.

Step 3. Locate a mobile app development partner
Once you have those two steps down, then you are ready to look for your mobile app development partner. This step can be stressful in finding the right team to create and develop your idea into a reality. You first have to think about your budget, create a pitch on your idea so they will understand it, and make sure that you see eye to eye with your development partner.

Your partner will be there for the long hall, everything from updating the app too fixing the bugs in your app as well if you run into them. It is essential to sign a contract that has all of the shares fairly distributed between the app developer partnerships. Also, make sure you have a clear vision of your concept if you do not think won’t go as you planned to have said that, writing everything down and making sure you have clear instructions on the way you want things to go is key.

Step 4: Validate your concept
Validating your concept and the demand for your product or service is one of the most important aspects when starting up. It can prove to be more important in the early stages than the design and unique features you have in mind. You don’t want to spend your time working on a business concept, which doesn’t solve a problem for a large enough audience. So be sure to undertake this process, bypassing it is easily done when you’re caught up in a whirlwind of excitement and visions of success. This is often where many entrepreneurs fail; they enter the market not fully understanding their audience and how they address their pain points at a price point that represents value. It’s akin to going into the world of business wearing a blindfold.

Ultimately establishing a realistic view of the demand for your idea can prove vital when it comes to creating a business plan, forecasting, talking to potential customers, and winning investment.

Step 5: Develop in stages
There are stages in developing your mobile app to make sure that it runs successfully. Make sure your initial analysis includes actual demographics, motivations, behavior patterns, and goals of your buyer persona. During each stage of the process, keep the end-user in mind. Now, try to think of your customer’s lifecycle, once their characteristics are pinned down.

After you reach them, they need to be acquired, converted, retained and their loyalty nurtured. To know whether the idea of your application is feasible technically you need to get access to public data by sourcing public APIs. An app, depending on its format (smartphone, tablet, wearable’s, etc.) as well as the platform (iOS, Android, etc.), will have different requirements. Build a prototype that gets the app concept into a user’s hands as quickly as possible to see how it works for the most common use case.

Then comes the design aspect this is something I would suggest brainstorming on how you want things to look, like the logo, theme, color scheme, etc. The development phase generally starts quite early on. In fact, once an idea gains some maturation in the conceptual stage, a working prototype is developed which validates functionality, assumptions, and helps to give an understanding of the scope of work. In mobile app development, it’s a good idea to test early and often. Doing this will keep your final costs low.

The farther in you go into the development cycle, the costlier it becomes to fix bugs. Refer to the original design and planning documents while building out the various test cases.

The last step is deployment this part is super exciting and should be a very proud moment!