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Converting Your Ideas To Money (3)

GROWING BUSINESSES CLINIC with Kola Owolabi

Ideas are money. I am sure we all know this. There is no product or service out there that came to be without it first being an idea in the mind of someone. That person who received the idea must have believed that it was implementable and must have taken steps to develop it further before it became an actual product or service that will bring in money at the end of the day.

Taking steps towards the implementation of an idea is the only way to turn it to money. One will never know the money that an idea will fetch for one at the end of the day without taking steps on the idea.

Would we have had Coca Cola today if the inventor was just dreaming about it without taking actual steps towards its implementation? Even when he (John Pemberton by name who was faced with ill health) discovered that he did not have the wherewithal to run its production and marketing profitably, he sold the drink to a visionary businessman who would later commercialize it and make it a marketing success globally.

In the previous edition, we discussed the need for a business plan as a step towards successful implementation of an idea. Let me say something about the virtue of a business plan that most people fail to reckon with. It is that a business plan helps you to maintain focus on your idea so that you don’t neglect it and lose it at the end of the day. If you are an entrepreneur, new ideas will be bombarding you on a daily basis. If care is not taken, by the time new ideas arrive in your head at the beginning of a new day, the excitement of the new ideas makes you to quickly forget the idea of yesterday that you have started work on. This is the reason behind the problem of uncompleted projects that most entrepreneurs have. However, if you had done a business plan, no matter how rudimentary it may be, on the idea of yesterday, you have at least preserved it from being pushed out of reckoning by the new ideas of today.

So that idea is big money waiting ahead for you in future and the way to get at that money is to take steps to implement the idea. So, after you must have prepared a business plan around that idea in order to preserve the essence of the idea, take steps to come up with a prototype of the product or service you want to come out with.

What is a prototype? It is a miniature or representation of the idea that you can show others that you have a product or service on the way to the market and which they should start preparing to pay for. A student goes to school and emerges after years of hard studies with a certificate. The certificate is a proof of his competence to offer service in a job setting in the area of his acclaimed competence. The same way, the prototype is not the real product, but it shows how the finished product or service will look like when it is fully developed.

The need to come up with a prototype is there because it enables you to use minimal resources to come out with your product or service, something that can even inspire people to start ordering the product before its actual production.

The story of how TATA, the Indian giant automaker when the company was toying with the idea of an extremely cheap brand new car that would sell for about two thousand five hundred dollars, about half the price of the world’s cheapest car at the time, comes to mind. The company came up with a prototype, which was a design of the car, and a description of its features. When the story broke in the media, the reaction of the public was unbelievable. For a car that was still at design stage, orders for outright purchase started pouring in. The rate at which orders for the car was being received was so much that the company discovered that the production plant that was to be used to make the car would be inadequate in terms of production capacity. The company had to quickly start work on building another plant far bigger than the first one, even though no unit of the vehicle had been manufactured.

That is the power of prototypes. It may be the thing that will help you corner the market, even when you have not yet even entered the market. The beauty of the thing we call prototype is that there is no product or service that cannot be prototyped. You can also come up with a prototype for that product or service idea that you have, with whatever resources that you have at your disposal, no matter how small it may be.

Kola Owolabi (FIMC) Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, 08023203198.

Kola Owolabi is the Principal Consultant and CEO of David Richard Associates, a company he founded in 1998. He is a Business Plan and Feasibility Study preparation expert and has been very active in the Business Development landscape in Nigeria in the past 23 years”.

To receive more information please text”SEND MORE INFO on your Business Plan Preparation service” to  08023203198. You can also send reactions to the contents of this post or any question you may have to the same telephone/WhatsApp line.

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