Get Bizy w/ Nate & JimShow Notes 9/24/13
Welcome to Get Bizy with Nate and Jim. I’m Jim (And I’m Nate) and we’re here to help you take your business to the next level. Each week we’ll give you our take on things you can do to grow your business. Between Nate and I we have a ton of resources and we will provide helpful links in the show notes (YouTube) after the show.
For this weeks topic we want to discuss some practical ways to generate ideas for your business. We all have ideas (some good some not so good) that we implement all of the time. What we want to do today is talk to you about what works for us, and a few things that didn’t.
Nate and Jim’s 5 step program for “structured” business ideation.
Come up with an idea
Do some research – Is the idea marketable?
Hone the idea
Take action and execute
Measure results and change accordingly
The idea/ creative process is messy and that’s ok.
When would you want to use a structured approach for ideas?
1. Start Up
What is a business pivot?
A pivot can be applied to any element of the business model, without changing the underlying vision.
Customer Problem Pivot – Same product, different problem, ie when Starbucks changed from selling beans and espresso makers to brewing in house. *I just learned my roommate used to work for Starbucks. They used to have a ‘master brewer’ training program and free coffee tasting sessions. The program has since been dropped and SB has become more corporate. This is a good example of a BAD pivot IMO, but may have increased their profit.
Market Segment Pivot – Are you serving the right demographic? Also worth mentioning a shift in the customer base from coffee drinkers to general public.
Product Feature Pivot – introduction of the iphone and subsequent evolution of the smartphone. More away from just coffee, now feature more teas, snacks, booze?, other food, maybe fresh baked goods
A business makeover can be as simple as updating the logo or as complex as upgrading your website, revising the product or service, remodeling brick and mortar site or hiring employees/ bringing in fresh blood.
Things to consider when generating ideas for a new business
Planning for a start up may be the one time where you can/ should be awesomely creative and may generate more ideas for your business than at any other time. Make the best of it.
Understand your creative triggers.
Jim – I am at the early stages of starting a business. I want to do something in the sustainable business space but don’t have my business model determined yet. Ideas come to me organically so I could get an epiphany in the shower or when I’m out walking the dog. Usually doesn’t go so well if I try to force it…but everyone is different and to ideate successfully you need to know what works well for you. To do it better, though…go out of your comfort zone. I am a bit stuck at the moment (sort of like writers block) so I need to go out of the box to get to the next level. Perhaps do a mini focus group to get feedback and direction.
Nate – I need to take action, then think. If I think too much about an idea my mind wanders and I lose focus. Doing something means I have something to work with, something to produce results that I can analyze and change. I am definitely a ‘make mistakes’ type of idea generator. As long as the monetary investment isn’t too great, as far as time and pride goes, I’ll jump in head first! This can get me in trouble sometimes, but I need that action to force myself to commit. I’m the guy with the hammer, not the samurai sword
Find your niche audiences
Nate – how to choose a niche, how ‘nichey’ should you get, what’s a niche versus a market or industry, why niche audiences are important, pare away competition, allow you to focus your attention on one group, beginners should start nichey, then get broader
Jim – starting to use the niche concept to get my new business plans sorted.
What are your passions
Jim – If you can come up with a business model that aligns with your passions it makes sense that it will be more likely to be successful. I am super passionate about sustainable businesses and I have the education and background to support the decision as something to pursue. What I must do is scope the business in a way that is marketable and would be a service that people would actually spend money on.
Nate – My profits have not started with passions, it’s always been the other way around. I start looking for profits in areas I can tolerate, and it turns into a passion…kind of. Sort of an area of expertise. It can be fun answering questions about something you knew very little about 6 months ago. Most questions and comments are pretty simple, so you can become a ‘beginner expert’ in any niche relatively quickly. It’s just about how much time you want to spend where.
What Problem do you want to solve?
Jim – A great business solves problems. This is HUGE when brainstorming your start up. People will pay you to help them solve their problems. There are plenty of problems in the sustainable business model. Many small businesses want to reduce their carbon footprint (or in Ca may be forced to do so). So there are opportunities here. Consumers are interested in supporting businesses that are certified organic, fair trade, or sustainable but may not know where to find those businesses so that presents another opportunity. Consumers and businesses may just want to be more educated on what sustainability is and that presents another opportunity.
Nate – Coke sells elaxation and fond memories, not just thirst. Look to solve a problem in a creative way. Is your solution a direct relationship to problem or an indirect relationship. Solving underlying problems versus surface problems
Demand for what you are selling?
Jim – this is a no brainer but many people don’t consider this when they are developing their startup. Who’s going to buy what you’re selling and how much will they pay for it?
Nate – Keyword, niche, market research
Importance of Evergreen
Nate – Again, the venn diagram, what you like isn’t always profitable, what is profitable isn’t always tolerable to you, pick something that’s, profitable, something you can tolerate, and put your own spin on it, build a niche site to an authority site
Jim – for my business idea evergreen is built in b/c as resources are becoming more scarce and businesses are becoming more aware of how important the environmental, social and cultural aspects of their business are to their clients, the concept of sustainability becomes more valuable.
Revolutionary ideas vs Evolutionary ideas
JIm – Nothing new under the sun but your business idea can still be disruptive and revolutionary. Think of the assembly line, the PC, the television, Google Search, the light bulb, space program etc. Evolutionary ideas – do it better, quicker, faster, cooler, cheaper, more luxurious. The iphone, ipad, Twitter, Pinterest, The main advantage to this plan of attack is you can benchmark something that’s already successful and make it even better. Less risk and more data available.
Nate – Not really much to say here. I’m not trying to change the world with affiliate marketing. Maybe I would fit in the evolutionary part – just a better way of delivering information. Content curator consolidator.
Nate – Where do you want to be in 1, 5, 10 years?, where do you want your business to be in this time? Helps to get your priority straight, put yourself before your business (advice), keep your eye on the prize instead of focusing on tiny details, be flexible. plans change, people change, ideas change
Jim – Always keep the end game in mind. Be strategic, plan and build infrastructure when possible.
Next Week…Content Creation: It can make or break your site