Many of us feel like we have many great ideas about making money. These might be business ideas, freelancing ideas, ideas that require outsourcing or just ideas that involve expanding our hobbies into full-fledged enterprises.
A human being has a number of thoughts every day, most of which are pretty much ignored. We listen to our minds selectively, only doing what’s really necessary to get through our days. So we end up ignoring the things that our intuition is trying to tell us.
However, if the same idea has been bugging you for a few days or even on and off for a few months, isn’t it time you sat down and listened to it? Here are 7 steps to turning your ideas into cash:
1. Clarify Your Idea
Your first step should be to understand exactly what your mind is trying to tell you. Is your idea just a vague “wouldn’t it be nice if…” or is it specific like “I can double my income if I add this feature to my product”? It would be great if all our ideas came to us as clearly as this last one but this isn’t usually the case. You have to take the vague “wouldn’t it be nice if…” idea and flesh it out consciously. The first step is to do this by yourself, with a piece of paper and a pen or on your computer or tablet. Just write down all your thoughts about your idea until you feel like you have a handle on it.
2. Consult Others/Brainstorm
You can clarify your idea alone or with someone else over a cup of coffee. You can even introduce the idea into a company meeting and have everyone brainstorm about it. Just remember that sometimes, fledgling ideas can die before they’re even born if you get the wrong input. So be careful before you introduce the idea into a discussion. Choose people you trust to discuss your idea with. This doesn’t necessarily mean people who are constantly encouraging you but just people whose opinions you value.
3. Consider the Financial Aspect
How much is your idea going to cost to put into action? Can you come up with an estimated cost? If so, where do you plan to get the money? Do you have it saved up? Or is it possible for you to raise it somehow? Who could you approach for backing? Remember that at this point, you’re only considering possibilities. Don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen if your idea fails. Just think about how you could put it into action.
4. Consider the Time Investment
Some ideas may have a different type of cost. You might need to put more time into them, not money. For example, you might have a great idea for a novel. But do you have a time to write it? If not, then are you going to be able to take time out from other things and put it into your novel? Can you start working part-time? Or get a babysitter for your kids? Once again, there’s no need to panic about what might happen if you put these possibilities into action. Some people get bogged down worrying about what’s going to happen to their kids or their jobs if they try to take time away from them. But if you’re uncomfortable with one way of making time, you can find another.
5. Come Up with a Written Plan
A lot of people resist coming up with a written plan. “I have everything mapped out in my head,” they say. These could turn out to be your famous last words! No one can have everything mapped out in their heads. And even if you’re an exception to this rule, what’s the harm in writing things down as well? It will be great to have a written plan which considers all the aspects of your idea when you’re approaching investors.
6. Consider the Personnel Required
Will you be able to put your idea into action yourself? This is occasionally possible, if you’re thinking of setting up a small business of a certain type. For example, you can hand paint cards and sell them on Etsy. Or you can set up a blog from which you earn ad revenue. These are smaller ideas which may not require you to hire anyone else (which doesn’t mean that they can’t be incredibly successful). But there are certain ideas in which you’re going to need to hire people. If you want to set up a beauty salon, for example, you’ll need to hire a number of hairstylists or beauticians. You’ll probably also need a receptionist. So think about how many people you’ll need to hire for the implementation of your idea.
7. Consider the Market
The most important thing for the success of your idea is going to be the presence of a market for whatever you’re trying to sell. Are there people interested in buying hand-painted cards? Have you seen websites devoted to this purpose? Have you read blogs similar to the one you plan to write? There may be times when your idea strikes you as completely different; no one else has ever done anything like it. Does this mean that it’s not going to succeed? No, of course not. There are other ways of finding out if there’s a market for your idea. For example, there may not be any blogs on the topic of silver jewelry for men but you know for a fact that there are many men who like silver jewelry. So you can infer that these people might be interested in reading your blog.
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