How to develop a killer idea

Here are five simple steps to creating the right business for you – no matter how crazy it sounds. You may need to put it to the test a little to determine viability, but ideas aren’t finite for the entrepreneurial spirit


How to develop a killer idea

1. Brainstorm 

Write down every idea you have for a business or side project. Don’t leave out anything because some version of it might just be doable – even if it sounds wild. If you want to be a millionaire while travelling the world, jot it down. There are people who manage to do just that.

2. Evaluate 

Give it a day, and then examine your list and pick your top five ideas. Write down the pros and cons of each. List what you would enjoy and what you might really struggle with for each idea. Identify what assets you have that could support each idea, in terms of practical skills, work experience and life experience. Finally, list any obstacles, practical or otherwise, to your idea. Remember that most things really aren’t obstacles at all. John Williams has a client, who happens to be a wheelchair user, whose dream was to be a model. She was approached by a modelling agency that specialises in disabled models.

3. See your vision clearly

Ask yourself what experience appeals to you about each of your ideas. For example, you might want to open a café because you love sitting in cafés. Ask yourself if opening a café will really give you what you want. Is there a better way? Working in a café actually involves counting money, operating a till and telling off staff members. Could you go freelance from your current job and work from a café instead?

4. Understand your ‘areas of genius’ 

Do you have something that makes you uniquely able to make a success of your business? Say you’ve got an idea to develop an app that delivers coffee to workers in City offices. It’s a great idea! Are you technically minded? Do you know a lot about graphic design? Or sourcing coffee beans? Or catering? Do you have contacts in these industries? If you do not have the relevant skills, you might still pull it off, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult.

5. Commit 

Choose one idea and commit to it for 30 days. If after 30 days you realise that the idea isn’t going to work, great news: you’re now free to test out another idea.

Photograph: iStock