Happy New Year; welcome to 2014. Have you made your New Year resolution, or are you tired of yearly making resolutions that you never put into action? Resolutions mean nothing if understanding and discipline are absent from it. For those that made resolutions, or gave it another title in order to avoid the word that has become a cliché, I want you to realise that knowing what to do, and having the mentality to do it, is what brings success. Until your goal or idea goes on the shelf, it is worth nothing. If you have to succeed in 2014, you must understand how to convert your ideas to winning products; it is winning, if it begins to gain influence in the marketplace. Your product may not be tangible, but its success is determined by how much you work on your offering, and deliver a killer service that no one can contest its superb quality. To make 2014 worthwhile, you have to move that long aged idea you’ve conceive for years from ideal stage to the marketplace, otherwise, by the last day of December, 2014, you’ll be singing the same song you rendered a couple of days ago. How can you move from ideas to the marketplace? To do that, begin by moving from:
Ideas to Design: A typical example of a profession that understands the flow from ideas to design is engineering; another is architecture. To construct a beautiful edifice, the Architect imagines the ideas, and then uses his various instruments to sketch the design before making a prototype of the building. To come up with a beautiful car with all its technological wows, all the fields of engineering responsible for making cars cooperatively come up with fantastic ideas that will result in a vehicle that is outstanding. Any product with a paragon of beauty was first imagined; the imaginations were collated and structured in idea form; the structured ideas were practically put into pictorial forms on paper; that pictorial form is called design.
Some people failed in 2013 not because they had no winning ideas; they lost it because their ideas rested in the bosom of imagination. Imagination without design is mere intention. Intention without action is a weakling. Ideas without designs are simply, unprocessed raw materials, still in the bottom of the earth crust. Many nations have abundance of raw materials deep down underneath their soils, but are still poor because without a process, idea only thrives on the platform of potentials. Potential is a natural propensity that requires development before it becomes a source of income. If you want it to yield dividend, the first stage is to pull out what you have inside, and take the step of making it physical; put your ideas on paper; design it.
Design to Prototype: a prototype is the physical mock of your design. At this stage, you’re only constructing a toy-type of the real thing. Notice one word I used in my personal definition of prototype; mock. At the stage of prototype, your idea will actually be mocked. A lot of people will make you see how impossible it will be to achieve your dream. When you display your prototype in public places, it will be subject to criticism by everyone including your potential competitors. Those who know, and those that are empty, will lambast your ideas, but in the midst of all, a few people will believe in you. Don’t bury your ideas because of criticisms; further work on it because in the atmosphere of accusations is an element of progressive truth. So, from design, make a prototype; despise the mockery with caution.
Prototype to Review: review sensible criticisms of your prototype; don’t overlook them. Don’t be in a hurry to shelf an imperfect product or service; go back to the drawing board. Review, makes you view a thing twice or more. Anytime you take a second look at an article, you must see a punctuation or clause that is misplaced or never there. A second look provides a golden second chance to avert a marketplace embarrassment.
Review to Production: after your review; produce. Take the risk to make the real thing. If you don’t do the real thing, you’re not real. Production is what defines your entrepreneurial character. Production shows that you’re man enough to step out of your comfort zone to do something you’ve never done. At the point of production, success or failure is envisaged. But to quickly point out, a failed product does not mean a failed entrepreneur; it simply means, an enviable opportunity to learn from real life experience. Go ahead, produce something!
Production to Product test: big companies don’t take their new products out without first of all, subjecting them to market research. You don’t need a research budget if you’re a small organisation; what you need is sincerity, honesty and integrity. Why? Design your own questionnaire with the aforementioned characters, and take your product out to conduct the research yourself. If you don’t know how to draft questionnaires, there are lots of Questionnaire Software on the internet; use the free ones, and if you need further help, subscribe to one of them (I will recommend Survey Monkey). As you administer your questions, make sure you and sentiment become two separate entities. The best thing to do is; never allow your respondents know that the product belongs to you, otherwise, their responses will be infiltrated with emotion.
Test to the Shelf: be bold; go and sell! There are lots of lessons to be learnt from entering into the marketplace. In the marketplace are lots of competitions. Some competitors will blackmail you; others will call you names and insult you. The target of blackmails and insults is to discourage you, and make you run out of the market unfulfilled.
To round up this article, I must warn you that it may take a long, long time to sell one item! Longevity doesn’t mean that your product isn’t good. Your persistence to stay put until good things happen is what convinces your potential consumers or clients that you mean business. Don’t run away; remain in the place of your vision. It may not sell now; but it will definitely sell!