What is the first thing you do when you want to execute on a new idea to bring it to life?
Most people get stuck and end up never doing anything with a new idea. We’ve asked 12 go-getters from the Young Entrepreneur Council to tell us how they go from idea to implementation…fast.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Usually the first idea that you have isn’t the one that is ultimately the most valuable. Spend some time talking to 50 people who would benefit from your idea and reflect on it afterward. It will clarify your thinking and, often times, uncover something more valuable. –Jimi Smoot, Octavius Labs LLC
I have had some great ideas, but the problem is, others already had them. They are too close to my own to compete or make development worth it. Now I take the approach of reverse engineering to see what else has been done so I can identify what hasn’t been achieved related to a particular problem that interests me. – Cynthia Johnson, American Addiction Centers
Draw five or six circles on a page and begin sketching out how many connections you can make with your team members — consultants, engineering, production, marketing, sales, etc. Having done that, however, I also try to cultivate those connections by approaching staff members first without any notes. Just bring up the idea casually. This allows for a more open-minded flow of ideas from the start. – Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics
Getting the idea out of my head and onto paper helps me crystalize it, instead of having it just bounce around. Writing it down lets me objectively see the idea better, and it ensures that I won’t forget it. – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
The key to executing a new idea is proper planning. Before jumping into any project, the first thing I do is create a high-level strategic plan that maps out the current situation, the desired result, and the steps I think we will need to take to get there. I then share my plan with my team to get their feedback before going forward. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
Not everyone can see in their mind’s eye what an idea may look like in real life, and people in the creative department likely differ on how it should be executed. Make it visual, even if it’s a pencil drawing or amateur origami. The more you have to work with visually, the more likely accounting is going to see its true value and get on board. – Michael Portman, Birds Barbershop
Wait for the right moment to focus and dive deep into the idea. Every entrepreneur’s creativity ebbs and flows over the course of the day and week. When I hit a stride and get into a hyper-focused, hyperproductive groove, I drop everything and keep going. Those moments are nearly impossible to recreate, so seize them whenever they might present themselves. – Christopher Kelly, Convene
Visualizing an idea gives me enough insight into what the outcome would look like, what I need to do to execute a successful outcome, what gaps I have in my plan, next steps I need to take, etc. This helps me prioritize and build an actionable plan. I generally look for ways to use what is already existing (open source, third party tools) and build in-house what brings the most value. – Shilpi Sharma, Kvantum Inc.
Don’t ever underestimate the perspective of the people you have working for you, especially if they’re people you’re used to counting on. I have run into all kinds of incredible insights talking about even lightly developed ideas with my key people. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
When you have a new idea, it’s easy to get so excited and wrapped up in executing it that you forget about the effect that it might have on your bottom line. Is this new idea really going to be profitable or is it going to require too many resources and too much time that it’s going to end up hurting the business? Really calculate the numbers and plan for worst-case development scenarios. – Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
If it’s possible for you to try something on the smallest scale and then ratchet it upwards, that’s usually what’s going to offer you the best information on how it will work in real life. There are many ways to experiment with business on a micro scale now. Find out if there are any apps relevant to what you’d like to try, and test those out, too. – Adam Steele, The Magistrate
The worst thing you can do when you get a new idea is to immediately start working on it. Any new idea is going to seem like the most exciting idea you’ve got going on, simply because it is new. However, only the truly worthy ideas will still excite you to no end, weeks or months later. Those are the ideas that you should really start to focus on. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios