3 Principles to Turn Concept to Product for Entrepreneurs

Starting, managing, or growing a business involves numerous elements that often dictate whether a venture will succeed or fail. Many entrepreneurs struggle with these aspects of business strategy and operations, especially in the early stages. Here’s how to move forward effectively.

1.Find a Solution, Don’t Create One

Rather than creating a solution in search of a problem, identify existing challenges in the market. Often, the most innovative-seeming ideas are not practical business-wise.

During the ideation phase, consider reversing your approach: look at successful businesses and understand why they succeed. They address clear, existing problems. By aligning your product with real consumer needs and existing market trends, you significantly increase the likelihood of your business succeeding.

I had a conversation with Antonio De Shawn Spears, a product development consultant and CEO of City Global, a business concierge service. He stressed the importance of testing your product’s viability. “An idea might seem valid, but it’s not proven feasible until tested against market conditions. I’ve witnessed too many entrepreneurs rush into markets, charmed by their ideas, ignoring that the market has no sentimentality,” he remarked.

While Amazon was not the first to enter the e-book market, it excelled by simplifying the process. To evaluate your product, develop a minimum viable product (MVP) or a prototype that aligns with your industry and business goals, and release it to the market. The insights gathered from this process are crucial; they will not only refine your product but also help pinpoint your target customer segment, among other strategic benefits.

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2.Consider Partnerships

Consider the advantages of strategic partnerships that support various facets of your business operations and customer service. This is why many companies choose to outsource specific tasks rather than managing multiple departments in-house, which can be costly.

Ira Horowitz, the chairman of City Global, discusses the advantages of outsourcing and forming business partnerships. “The outsourcing market is expanding rapidly as companies recognize its financial benefits and its role in allowing them to concentrate on their core strengths.”

City Global exemplifies the effectiveness of strategic partnerships. Founded in 2009, this business concierge service manages the entire product development and delivery process for its clients. In essence, the right partnerships can propel a product more effectively and often more quickly.

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3.Keep it Simple

If your business is thriving, you might be tempted to add more features or update your product to stay ahead of the competition and dominate your market. However, remember the focus and energy from your early days of ideation; before making any updates or adding new features, make sure there’s a real market need for them.

Consider the difference between Facebook and Craigslist. When Mark Zuckerberg first launched Facebook, it was a very basic site with limited functionality, which made it easy for users to get on board. Over the last two decades, Facebook has slowly added features, but only in response to clear user demand. In contrast, Craigslist has barely changed since its inception, remaining popular due to its simplicity and ease of use.

The key takeaway is to avoid over-complicating your product. In product development and iteration, simplicity and user-friendliness should be your priority to ensure optimal adoption. Only introduce changes when they are proven necessary by market demand, ensuring your product continues to meet the right needs. Don’t push innovation to the point where it alienates your market.

As industries evolve and entrepreneurship progresses, while it’s important to keep up with the times, adhering to tried-and-true business principles is vital. These principles help lay a strong foundation that can withstand the tests of time and business changes.

Source: 3 Principles to Help Entrepreneurs Go From Concept to Product