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5 steps to turn your idea into a working plan

When we have an idea in mind that we wish to turn into a real, tangible and above all sustainable project, we might encounter several difficulties and without a method and some useful tools, this can actually affect our attitude and make us feel blocked or even like giving up.

Whether it is a business project or an action plan to start a business or a marketing plan, we should always design a detailed working plan before venturing into a no return path.

For this reason, we suggest five useful steps we might take to realise our ideas.

Step 1 – Design your idea

At the beginning, our idea seems comprehensive, feasible and ultimately perfect, the best idea that our brain could conceive. However, the reality is very often quite different!

We feel strong and believe that our intuition works impeccably as it is just the perfect idea for us. Unfortunately, others might not find it interesting and therefore it may not respond to a real need. Moreover, we might be too superficial: we have a light-bulb moment and that is fine. However, many people have winning ideas and perhaps at that very moment other people have had the same intuition somewhere else in the planet. What will make the difference between them and me? Well, it will be the working plan, the strategy that I will adopt and my ability to realise that intuition.

For these reasons, it is essential to draw our idea by developing some important aspects:

  • Which needs does my product / service meet?
  • What are the characteristics of the target market?
  • Who are my competitors?

In short, we need to study and carry out extensive daily researches to avoid mistakes that could undermine our idea since the very beginning.

Step 2 – Create your prototype

Once we have been determined the characteristics of potential customers, it is appropriate to create a prototype of our product / service and test it with friends, relatives and people close to us who may have identical or at least similar characteristics to the target audience identified. In short, we shall develop what in English is called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), an early version of the product / service that envisages an interaction with our target market since the idea comes up to our minds. This system is useful not only to validate our idea, but also to perform a quick initial and low-cost test enabling us to assess what we are doing and decide whether to continue or change our minds.

Step 3 – Review your product / service

Once we have concluded this first test of our prototype obtaining the answers we were looking for, we shall continue with the modeling of our product / service, by applying the appropriate changes to propose a new version of it, which summarises and maximises the information learned directly from the client (tester).

In this third phase, we shall investigate and work on possible revisions to be applied to our product / service, by asking questions and, if necessary, repeating the test. We may also contact the first potential stakeholders to verify whether they may be interested or may wish to give us valuable advice.

A useful tool for the first 3 steps: Idea Design Process

We might devote a lot of time to these first three steps. In fact, the market and target audience analyses, the realisation of the prototype, the testing and the necessary changes may require months of work. For this reason, it is crucial we always keep an eye on a scheme highlighting the important steps we are taking to achieve our final design.

The Idea Design Process is a useful model that helps us track each step and decide when the idea is ready to move on to the next step: click here to download it.

Step 4 – Create your business project

The operational phase actually begins with this fourth step, when we already have many elements available enabling us to imagine the details of our business project and we can add further elements that will enrich the features of our product / service as well as the way it shall be manufactured and sold. This is a very important step, because we shall specify any data concerning:

  • the initial investment;
  • the human resources needed;
  • the material resources needed;
  • the marketing and communication strategies needed to reach our users;
  • the financial strategies that we can potentially implement.

Useful tool for this stage: the Creative Project Canvas

This fourth phase also requires in-depth studies and analyses, revisions of the idea and comparisons with external parties: it is at this stage that the Creative Project Canvas can be a useful tool to realise our project. This is a proper canvas where we can “paint” the contents of our business project and enrich it with any kind of details. It will allow us to visualise all aspects of our idea in a comprehensive as well as context-aware manner and will help us to present it to our potential travel companions.

Click here to download the Work (Play) Book, the guide to use the Creative Project Canvas.

Click here to download the Creative Project Canvas.

Step 5 – Develop your timeline, launch and action planning strategy

Finally, we have reached the last step that will take us to our final design. This does not mean that we have completed our work and we can enjoy a well-deserved rest: on the contrary, getting the final working plan is the necessary step to start our entrepreneurial activities. In addition, we are more excited now and can concretely see that initial vague and confused idea we had; we are gripped by a sense of pragmatism and the desire to do, which will not be easily quenched, but shall be the drive to take action. Let us:

  • adopt a timeline of activities to be performed;
  • create an action plan to enter the market;
  • plan a sustainable financial strategy;
  • choose our travel companions and external services that can help us;
  • begin to take our first steps towards the promotion and sales of our product / service.

Thus, let us implement our idea and start a true sustainable business project.

Use the WorkPlayBook to manage every stage

Realising our ideas as well as finding ways to make them economically viable can often be problematic for many of us. These five steps can help you to understand many things and first of all the utility and feasibility of your plans, disregarding mere aspirations or accompanying you throughout the realisation of our greatest desires.

To do this, the Work (Play) Book will definitely help you and will support you to define and implement your idea as well as to develop it when it is a real and tangible product / service.

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  • Nicole Weld - September 19, 2018 reply

    Thank you – your canvas project is exactly what I have been needing – plus the colors, boxes, mind maps, images make the task of documenting my ideas much more tolerable. Thanks!

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