You’ve just come up with what you think is an amazing idea. A new business that will change the world. A new business that will make you lots of money! You quickly go out and share your idea with your friends and family and they confirm how good the idea is. Everything looks great! The world is perfect.
Then you set off to build your idea. You spend hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years building it. Then you release it. Nothing happens. The streaming hordes of customers you expected don’t materialize. You can’t get any sales other than that first sale from you mom or dad, but that’s about it. Why? What happened? Everyone confirmed it was a great idea when you shared it with them…
The unfortunate reality is that almost all the time your friends and family will confirm your idea is good, even when it’s not. Firstly most people don’t want to rain down on your excitement. And secondly most of us have learned that delivering bad news is not fun, especially when it’s really not necessary.
So what I suggest, instead of JUST asking your friends and family if your idea is good, ask them if they would also purchase it.
Again, same as before, most will say they would. That’s good! That’s one step further. But don’t stop there. Many people will say yes but would never actually purchase it.
The next step is to confirm your idea by asking if they will purchase it now!! You’ll be surprised at how quickly things change once you ask them to commit real hard earned dollars (excluding your parents of course). Basically as soon as you ask someone to pay money instead of just giving positive wishes, you get their real views on whether or not you’ll succeed.
If you can’t get anyone to commit money to your idea then it’s very likely not a good idea. Maybe it’s too specific and you don’t have like minded individuals, but if that’s the case should you be pushing so far out of your core competencies in the first place. For example, if you don’t know anyone or anything about the kennel business, then should you really start a kennel business?
Getting back to the topic at hand, the only real and sure fire way to tell if an idea is a good idea or not is to ask people to pay for it. Not just if they would pay for it, but to actually ask them to pay for it. Your results will tell you just how good your idea really is!
Like I’ve said before, ideas are a dime a dozen. What it really takes to make a business is more than just an idea, it takes the execution of the idea. And this is by far the hardest part. I myself have no trouble coming up with new ideas. I actually have lots of them. The problem is that I can’t execute all of them. I just don’t have the time and the resources. So today I’m going to share with you my latest idea. And please go ahead and take it if you want. I’d love to see this product make it to the market! I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Basically the idea comes down to a simple need, the ability to print checks from my computer. Right now in the market there are many great label printers, which is awesome. We use Dymo label printers here at LandlordMax to help us (it’s great for mailing labels amongst other things). It’s an amazing time saver. As good as having sheets of Avery mailing labels are, I often just need to print one label, of even just a few labels and not an entire sheet of labels. Hence I almost exclusively use the label printer (I actually only use the Avery sheets to print large quantities of return mailing addresses).
Now imagine if there was a printer just like the Dymo label printer, but for checks! How cool would that be?
There’s some details that would need to be ironed out. For example what do you get with a roll of checks? Does it print out your account information on the bottom of the check or just fill in the fields like the date, payee, etc. That’s the 99% perspiration part, I’m just giving the 1% inspiration.
The key to this printer’s success of course is to make it very easy to use and integrate with. If there was such a printer, and it was very easy to interface/integrate with, we’d almost certainly be supporting it as the primary check printing option for LandlordMax.
You see right now for a software to offer check printing, which we’re in the process of implementing for LandlordMax, you either need to jump through hoops or highly limit the capabilities of your check printing feature.
It basically comes down to a couple of options. The first is to support only pre-defined formats, but this means you’ll also have to sell checks “compatible” with your software. Not exactly where we want to go for LandlordMax. The alternative is to create some form of a “check designer” which allows you to configure how the checks are printed. Of course this option is much more complex for the software company to implement, and hence costs more. But not only that, most users aren’t really interested in configuring their printer alignments just to be able to print checks.
So there you go, a business idea that will solve a common and annoying problem faced by both consumers and businesses. Just think of the possibilities. Hopefully someone will take this idea and run with it!
And if you know of a check printer like this that already exists, please let me know. I’d be very appreciative.