Your next big idea is just one thought away. Anyone can come up with an innovative idea, however, turning that idea into a full fledged business can be riddled with hurdles for many. In order to properly combat roadblocks, 100K Ideas has broken down idea development into three stages: Think, Make, and Market. Each stage is essential throughout the innovation process and below a few clients share their experiences for each stage.
“Think”, the first step of the 100K Ideas process, is when concepts are constructed, researched, and developed. Recently, 100K Ideas client Tyler Beasley discussed his brainstorming process and the factors that influenced his small business idea that combines his love for food, people, and community. Tyler constructed an idea and continues to seek opportunities around opening a bakery for his biscuits and homemade jams. Through 100K Ideas’ “Think” stage, Tyler received information needed in order to evaluate his next steps, as well as, utilized provided resources to begin laying the foundation for his small business. In addition, the “Think” stage helped in determining his desired route to successfully integrate his vision and passion for connecting people through the love of food.
In Their Own Words
Q: How did you come up with your idea?
Back home in Tennessee, I experimented with my great grandmother’s biscuit recipe, found one I loved, and started serving them to people during high school. People loved them, and I enjoyed the connections made through sharing the biscuits. I realized I wanted to make a business out of it by combining my love for food, people, and community.
Q: What does your idea mean to you?
To us, working in the service industry should be about truly serving. This means taking our business to anyone anywhere and giving them access to good food and an inclusive atmosphere. We want to represent comfort and compassion. It’s about making business choices that bring people and communities together. Everyone needs somewhere to decompress and feel comfort, and we often need something to ease the tension of everyday life. We feel that our buttery Southern biscuit represents a catalyst for that. We want to break down barriers and bring people of all walks of life together, and we have found that enjoying simple, delicious food is the perfect way to help us all get there.
After fortifying an idea, it is time to implement those ideas into something tangible; the core of the “Make” stage of 100K Ideas’ three step process. The “Make” stage involves creating hobotypes/prototypes, designing, creating, and refining models for a pilot run to test the market. Founder of Kuhmute, Peter Deppe, shared his advice about what is involved in the making and innovating of his product and business. Kuhmute is an electric scooter charging infrastructure that uses a subscription based ridesharing service. The goal of Kuhmute is to eliminate the unsightly clutter of scooter pile-ups in cities by taking full advantage of smart charging hubs called “flexible docking”. Throughout Kuhmute’s stages of development, Peter realized the importance of assessing what works and what doesn’t work for his electric scooter.
In Their Own Words
Q: What would you tell other entrepreneurs who are in the same stage of the process?
When building a prototype, it is best to fail fast and fail often. The more you fail, the more you learn and in the end you should have a product or service that is what the end users wants.
Q: How did you get to this stage of the process?
After analyzing the trends in society, I eventually decided to take on the task of creating a company in the rideshare industry. I feel that being in the target market of this market gives me great insight into what features I should provide. Now we are implementing user feedback into the physical infrastructure that we are creating at Kuhmute.
Q: What is involved in the making of your product?
We use a 3D printer and off the shelf components for most of our hobotypes. This gives is flexibility to change features quickly while being cost effective.
Q: What stages of the "make" process do you believe are essential to the development of your product?
Before and during the make process it is essential that you survey potential users. That feedback is critical during the “make” stage of entrepreneurship. It is in the best interest of a company to make what the user wants, rather than building what you personally want. This feedback also can help clarify your assumptions you have about the market.
Branding, marketing, and actively selling a product or service are the key elements of the third stage of 100K Ideas’ process titled “Market”. Marketing is an essential step in creating a business by focusing on attracting customers and building a brand. 100K client and SayItAintKrispy (SIAK) Founder, Vantrell Erving, is currently in the third stage and has found a niche outlet for his company that repairs shoes. SayItAintKrispy customizes, restores, and repairs sneakers for individuals alongside a selection of clothes located in the city of Flint. Vantrell’s journey with SayItAintKrispy began when he took advantage of an opportunity presented by Mott Community College to restore a pair of shoes. SayItAintKrispy’s social media presence, community involvement, and unparalleled customer service, all contribute to their success in the “Market” stage.
In Their Own Words
Q: How did you start? How did you come up with your business idea?
I started my business in 2014 through a course at Mott Community College with the goal of restoring a pair of busted shoes from a friend of mine. Before doing it myself, I have been watching guys like Sneakerheadinthebay, RetroSnickers, MACHE275 repair original pairs of Air Jordans and doing mind blowing customs. I began reaching out to get quotes and the prices to repair was so expensive, I could buy 2 pairs of the same shoe in a better condition. All the quotes came from California, Florida, DC, Atlanta, etc. These are major sneaker influenced places out [of] my reach, I thought it would be cool to have something like that here in our backyard for the people because shoes are really expensive. I cleaned & pre-tapped an old [pair of] sneakers and took before pictures to showcase my progress. Once the shoe was complete, I posted on my social media revealing something I was proud of and the inboxes and comments and friends request began to flood my page asking, "how much," "when can you do mine," or "where are you located?" I knew then that this was something new and refreshing. It was something the City of Flint needed, so I took it upon myself to plan, build and strategize the foundation in a business course and after that i dove off the deep end of the business world.
Q: What did you find extremely helpful in advancing your business to this level?
Connecting with the people and constructing emotional bonds with the our clientele and supporters was crucial in the process. When I say this I mean really taking care of the people every chance we get, it's more than just shoes and clothes when dealing with SIAK. I don't have to say much; you can ask the people [and] they will vouch for what we stand for [which] is customer service.
Q: What kinds of resources did you find that helped you?
We got the best of the best in the city to vouch for us and we never let them down once. If you take care of your people they will give you anything you need to rise above. The people believe in me and I’m going to live up to [the] legend they want me to be.
Q: What advice would you give to others who are in the similar or earlier stages of business?
If I could offer any businesses stuck in the startup phase advice, I would say don't spend so much time planning because sometimes it's better just jump in. I'm not saying don't do any planning at all, I'm just saying planning without action leaves you with nothing to execute. Also, don't let money stop the birth of unique business startup, don't try to make everything perfect in the beginning, keep in mind the people love to be able to see your growth and progress. Keep going because it doesn't happen overnight. It’s a journey worthwhile.