How To Make Any Idea Profitable
Illustration by Mr Giordano Poloni
Five ways to monetise your master plan.
Have you got an idea kicking around your head that you can’t seem to let go? Perhaps a concept for an innovative website, a new product, a bestselling book? Or maybe some way to ditch the boss and get paid as a freelancer or consultant?
Whether you want to launch something just because you’re passionate about it, you want to make a side income, or want to make like Snapchat founder Mr Evan Spiegel and suddenly find yourself showered with untold millions, there’s never been a better time. Honestly. People all over the world have always had good ideas, but the difference now is that it’s easy to make those ideas happen – and to make some real money out of them.
You can publish your own book, sell your own music or create your own online shop in an hour or two. You have access to incredibly powerful tools (such as YouTube, MailChimp, Meetup and a host of other free or cheap online applications) to create whatever you want and to market it (or yourself) to a global audience. No matter how big your idea is, you can get some version of it up and running in a surprisingly short period of time. This, in any case, is what I found when researching my book Screw Work Break Free: How To Launch Your Own Money-making Idea In 30 Days. One caveat: success is not just about having the idea; it’s about using it wisely. Scroll down for a few quick tips on how you can turn your ideas into (the beginnings, at least) of a new business.
Choose the right idea
Want to know if your idea is going to work? Then check you can answer ”yes” to these three questions. Does this idea excite you? Do you bring something to this idea other than the idea itself (ie, can you use some of your skills, knowledge or talents)? Third, could this idea be interesting or useful to others?
Think big, start small
No matter how big your idea is, you can find a way to try it out in a 30-day project. Win your first client, even if it’s a friend. Write eight blog posts about your bestselling book idea. If you want to open a restaurant, don’t sell your house. Create one great dish and invite pals round to your home to taste it. If it’s a hit, you can move on to a food stall and later a pop-up restaurant.
Don’t worry about business plans, business cards or the perfect logo. Focus on winning your first project, running your first event, writing your first article, coding your first free app. Make it as good as you can, but remember it’s just version 1.0. Mr Mark Zuckerberg wrote the first version of “the facebook” in 30 days at university (and it looked nothing like Facebook today). Get something out there and then keep improving on it.
Choose your preferred way to make money
There are now so many ways to make money that any idea can be turned into an income stream. Offer advice sessions over Skype to anyone in the world. Set up a live event on Meetup.com. Sell products on eBay or Etsy. Start a network or club and charge people a monthly subscription by PayPal. Publish your own book straight to Kindle and keep 70 per cent of the profits.
Stand out with super-niching
Stand out in a crowded marketplace with super-niching. Focus on a particular kind of person or organisation or create a product or service that’s superb at one particular thing. Be willing to turn people away and you’ll make yourself irresistible to the right kind of person.
Screw Work Break Free: How To Launch Your Own Money-making Idea In 30 Days (Vermilion) is published on 4 August. Download a free chapter here