5 Questions Every Successful Entrepreneur MUST ASK to Make More $$ on your "Cool Ideas"
By: Melanie Benson Strick
All wealthy business owners know that the difference between just being an entrepreneur and being an industry leader lies in choosing viable projects. The key is to focus on those ideas and projects that will give you the greatest return for the time, money and effort you invest in them - hence, choosing high Return on Investment (ROI) projects.
Successful people know how to discern a "cool" idea from a profitable idea. How many times have you said to yourself, "This is a great idea!" but nothing ever comes of it? Here are a few common scenarios that many eager entrepreneurs experience:
* "I've invested hundreds and thousands of dollars on a product or service that I thought was a great idea, but no one purchased it."
* "I was brainstorming with a friend, and we both loved this idea of working together to create a seminar - but we never made it happen."
* "I have a big vision of opening a school for (fill in the blank) but it's funny, I never have time to focus on it."
* "I know I need to implement a sales follow-up system and make prospecting calls - but I always get busy with other things."
* "I can work in my business all day long, providing the customer with an excellent product or service, but I hate marketing and sales so I just never get around to those aspects of the business."
Here is the bottom line... what you focus on expands. If you focus on activities that don't generate a significant financial or emotional return on investment, you don't really have a business. Period.
This concept isn't just about financial return. Sometimes an idea is still viable even if it doesn't provide a monetary return. R.O.I. can also be measured in the time you save by establishing systems in your business, so that you can spend more time on your business - and less in your business.
Your return can also be measured by credibility and prestige in your industry, which would lead to more opportunities. Your R.O.I. might be money saved by reducing errors in your systems. Your R.O.I. may be an emotional feeling of fulfillment or completion. A truly viable idea addresses all of these possible returns. So how do you assess your R.O.I.?
Five Questions to Assess R.O.I.
1. Will your idea move you closer to your bigger vision of success?
There are only two types of business activities: those that move you closer to your vision, and those that don't. If you're spending a significant amount of time focused on tasks that don't move you closer to your goal, how will you reach your desired outcomes?
2. What is the potential revenue opportunity?
What costs will you incur? What will you charge? What volume do you need to sell to recoup your costs? At what point have you broken even, and at what point have you made a healthy profit?
3. Will it reduce errors or costs in the business?
Is this idea going to improve your process so you can reduce errors or costs? How will it impact the bottom line of your business overall?
4. Will it increase your time availability?
Will this give you more time in the end? Or will it take more time than it's worth? It's not uncommon for seemingly good ideas to turn into greedy time bandits that steal your time and money. Remember, 20% of your time investment should return 80% of your results.
5. Will it increase your prestige and credibility?
Is this idea going to position you and your company as a leader in your industry, increase your credibility, and entice your prospects to do business with you?
So Now What?
Once you understand what your R.O.I. criteria are, make a list of your top 5 ideas. Then test each idea against the 5 R.O.I. Questions above. Rank each idea using the following scale:
1 = Definitely No, 2 = Not Really, 3 = Neutral,
4 = Somewhat, 5 = Absolutely.
Lastly, add up the scores. The idea with the highest score wins. This is an idea that has enough viability to overcome the "cool factor" and really align you with your goals. Now, get started! Don't forget to map out a plan and schedule the time to work on it.
About the author:
Melanie Benson Strick, the Entrepreneurs' Success Coach, helps people get out of overwhelm and onto the success fast-track. "The 5 Massive Mistakes that can Put you Out of Business..and How to Avoid Them" is FREE at http://www.Successconnections.Com