I am walking home, gathering ideas about the ideal image of my business in a few years to come. A question I never ask myself with true conviction as I always get ploughed away by whats practical. Scaling down my ideas before I am even started.
So thinking big and out of the box, I am walking through a neighborhood close to one of my studios. It’s cold and wet with winds that blow through your clothing leaving you cold to the bone. A lovely little bundle of joy catches my attention, with a not so joyful expression on its face. It runs up to me and then to the door of its home. Sudden clarity comes with my imagination more like leaping out of the box at this point, sprinting into woods and swimming an ocean. Best business idea ever… a cat door knocking service.
To remind cats pets (their owners) that they indeed need to be let inside to the cozy warmth of their territorial home. A door knocking service where some human prawls through neighborhoods on the search for cats in distress. In one moment came the idea and the next second i was laughing openly in the street. But seriously a cat door opening service, genius!
Many individuals are either creative in business or practical. Taking this as their base of operations that defines the way they plan, step into the world and deliver. Learning to balance these forces is key to successful business, indeed successful anything. Creativity is amazing but usually needs to be grounded in the here, possible and now. Be given legs to stand on in order to materialize. Practicality can often close down the mind for possibility. But hand in hand, they can lead us to projects and business plans that are both innovative and grounded in logic.
Coming back to the cat door knocking service. Its one of those ideas that sounds unique but when you analyse it you soon realise its a no go. Ok i have taken an extreme business idea but its some how so apt. SO visualise the situation for a moment cat outside door who is in need of being let in. The cat is the customer is this case with a need that can be fulfilled with a product or service thats not presently being offered. This is a situation where a business could come in. SO clearly we should set up a door knocking service right? But did you ask yourself (again ludicrous situation):
- Can the cat afford such a service, is the as secondary client interested to pay? Your business can’t thrive on cat cuddles however nice these are. Cats will love you one moment and leave you the next (talking as a cat lover). With the best of intentions customers can be the same so make sure a) you have the possibility of being paid in means that are healthy for your business and b) that you create a fair transaction where like quality of service is given for like quality of payment for said service. Valueing yourself, your product or service is vital. Checking that you can indeed make the necessary income to run a healthy business.
- If the service was to become a reality and a door was opened for said cat, what do you think their response would be. Obvious one would be to run into the house. But what if the cat is scared by the door knocker or not that bothered about getting in even though its cute fluffiness looks distraught right at this moment in time. Quality of the customer or client is really important.
- All is not as it seems at face value, did you stop to think if the cat had a specific reason for being outside? Maybe its only one cat in a million, then the need is big in this one case but there aren’t many clients out there who will seriously need a cat door knocking service. Market research and questioning about the number of available clients, location and reason for the need.
Taking a little time in the beginning can save a lot of time and money later on. Not being scared to think big, bringing creativity and practicality to heel. Its always possible to down size an idea. The big ideas give information about your goals and desires as a business starter and maker that are truly insightful. Planning a strategy for success not only is useful for new businesses but helps to focus the writer on the core goals, clients and finance aspects of a business. Giving a clearer vision of the businesses identity for promotion, who the business is for and how it addresses the need of this target group. After careful analysis of about 30 minutes and a lot of laughing (reason it took so long) i decided that i won’t be opening a cat door knocking service.