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How to get your idea accepted?

posted Jan 13, 2019, 12:25 PM by Jageshwar Tripathi   [ updated Jan 14, 2019, 9:14 AM ]
Often people think about many innovative ideas but they are not able to further work on their ideas due lack of sponsorship. If you get sponsor for your idea no one except you can stop you developing that idea.

Who can be your sponsor?

  • There are many investors, venture capitalists who can fund your project if they see your idea will give them return.
  • There are forums through which you can get public finding. Public fund raising has been effective for many important projects. 
  • You can go to a bank to get loan for your business but there are certain banking procedures and credit policy which will be applied.
  • In many countries there are government institutions which help new entrepreneurs as well as small to medium businesses.
  • If your idea is really going to give returns even your friends, your boss and your family can fund your project. 
 The biggest question is if your idea looks good to your investor. If they like it. 

Why sponsors will support your idea?

There are many factors which can be listed down but most important is will it give the return? If you are able to convince your investors that your idea has good return on investment they will look at it seriously. Often people think that a new idea, an invention, something which was not done before will attract the investors. This is not completely true. If idea is entirely new but not feasible, if it is not going to be useful in real life beyond laboratory and if it can't be converted in to a business there is no use of such idea to the sponsors. Even if idea is new and unique, it is feasible to implement it but there is no buyer of it it is useless. Even if there are buyers but cost of delivering the product or service is higher compared to acceptable price in the market it is going to be a loss making business, why sponsors will support your project. Here are some points which will convince your sponsors to support your project:
  • Good return on investment
  • It is feasible to convert the idea in to successful business
  • Market size (good number of buyers of the product or services)
  • Shorter break-even period (the time from where the business will become profitable)
  • If it solves a problem and there is something unique (why your product will be hit not other products)
Basically you will have to do some homework, your research about the idea, business planning and then you should present your idea. My suggestion is that always you prepare a business plan and if you realize that the business/idea you were thinking about is not looking good on business plan, you take-up another idea and prepare business plan. Often I have seen many people who don't succeed in their ideas are those who don't prepare business plan. Before investors, business plan helps you checking your idea if it is good or not. 

What do you need to do?

You will have to collect some data, you will have to conduct some research and some analysis. You can get some stuff from online, organizations and consulting organizations. 

Market research

Who you are going to sell this product or services to? Really go to the market and see what is already available and even not available. Do people really need something else? How many buyers are for this kind of product (not only yours but all in total). Why people buy it?

Investor research

Who will be interested to invest in your project? Which option do you want to explore? What are your specific needs and expectations regarding investors?

Competition research

Who else is selling what you are planning? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is the feedback of customers of competitors? Will you be able to provide any value addition to the customers better than or more than current competition? What is that value addition? Did you check if customers will value the value add you are considering? What is the possibility of other competitors coming to the market? Why customers will keep buying your product or services even if new competition will arrive? 

Estimation

I am intentionally not writing the word "financial planning" here because it is a huge task but to shortlist your idea yourself you need to do some initial work to estimate what will be the cost of your product after all the expenditures. You need to understand little seriously about capital investment, running cost (may be cost of producing, raw material, cost of staff in production), cost of marketing and sales and cost of delivering product or services to the customer (literally transportation cost + something else) . Now see what will be the cost to the customer after all the unit cost +taxes + profit margin (targeted). If your market research says your customers will buy your product or services at a higher cost than this cost to customer you have a good idea but you need to further detail your idea, research, financial planning to come to better estimates. Always keep in mind investors are looking out for better returns. If return from your business is less than the interest from a bank why some one invest in your business. 
Educated people call it revenue or business model :)

There are other stuff to prepare but I am keeping that our from here to keep in brief. Please refer to next section for those subjects.

Business plan

Once you have done your research and calculations make a business plan. It should be prepared in three sets: One full blown with all the detail, another in a presentation which is short form of the detailed one and a two slider executive summary.
Normally following topics should be covered in a business plan: executive summary, business description, SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, market analysis, go-to-market strategy and financial summary.

While presenting to the audience keep in short but effective. You can organize your presentation as follows: 
(support your points with facts and data you have obtained during research)
Problem statement
The solution
What is the target market and size
SWOT Analysis
Competition
How will you make money (revenue model)
Marketing and sales strategy
Team (organization)
Operation plan
Financial projections
Funding requirements

Even if you are doing a innovation project within your organization where you work, you should prepare a business plan with bold items given above to get approval of your management and to get support to implement that idea. 

Interesting resources

1. https://articles.bplans.com/what-is-a-business-model-business-models-explained/
2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymonds/2013/10/24/7-tips-for-pitching-your-entrepreneurial-idea-whether-to-angels-or-sharks/#550cb6d235a2

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