Ideas Are Not Enough: Learn to Implement the Right Ideas for a Better Business Ethic

Thomas Edison once said: “genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” A businessman advanced for his era, Edison knew that ideas were simply not enough, but few people listened. Now, nearly a century after such a quote was spoken, there are thousands of books available promoting his philosophy.

Let’s face it, we all want to be ‘the idea person’ because conjuring creative solutions is fun, challenging and exciting. But ideas are not enough, you have to work to execute an idea for them to be a success. Everyone has ideas, and yet much fail to execute them. The real genius is the person who challenges their ideas and learns to implement them into reality.

Ideas are crucial, brainstorming is enjoyable and creativity is all so glamourous. Unfortunately, the idea and the vision of how-to implement is just the first step of the journey. The beginning of an idea sizzles with glamour, but the back-end is hard work, stress and labour. Like Edison further quipped: “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in coveralls and looks like work”.

Too many great ideas and not enough time for action

On the other hand, what do you do when you have too many ideas and not enough time to implement? Or perhaps you have too many mindful-tasks and not enough energy to see completion? You may begin to feel guilty about throwing good ideas away, or adding them to your growing list of things-to-do, but you only have so many resources around you, and we all have constraints on our abilities.

Ideas need to be consistently pruned and trimmed down. Then these ideas will have the potential to grow and flourish well. Although it’s natural for new ideas and projects to come into our lives, you need to actively prune ideas before you exhaust all resources chasing.

Knowing which ideas to implement is often easier said than done, and you cannot afford to take a risk on every idea that comes your way. Here’s how to identify and implement the superior ideas for a better business ethic:

1. Pitch ideas with your people

Start with your people, as they are your biggest asset. Whether ‘your people’ are old business partners or contacts made from an after-work club, your people will have a developed understanding for your ideology and will be willing to explore fresh possibilities. Begin pitching your ideas, engage in sprouting expanding the possibilities of this idea and soon you will learn if your idea is worth pursuing.

You may present dozens of great ideas to a capitalist and be rejected for each one. Alternatively, he or she may take the bite, but what’s saying consumers will? Find out if there is a market for your idea, and if so, whether you have the necessary resources available. You may want to seek guidance from an industry expert to further understand the methodology of your idea.

2. Conduct research into your target market

Always remember your target market. Your business ideas must be aligned to meet the needs of your customers and address problems they may face. Just because you and your people think it’s a good idea, doesn’t mean your customers will think so.

Conduct market research into customer insight. This will allow you to answer the basic questions of: do they need it, do they like it, does it solve their problem and would they buy it, whilst giving you greater insight into improving customer relationships, and ultimately improving business. Businesses who fail to grasp customer insight have endured the wrath of a business flop.

3. Try again, fail again, fail better

If an idea is going to fail, it’s best to fail fast, cheaply and quietly. A lot of companies try to master their idea internally before taking it to the market. These companies often fail to see where they went wrong before it’s too late, and their whole budget has been spent marketing this failure. Instead, you should aim to test many prototypes with a limited amount of potential customers. By doing this, you can make the changes and improvements required without the PR disaster.

As Thomas Edison further quoted: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” By creating prototypes, you have the power to change and improve in iterations.

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