JonMifsud
Web Developer & Consultant

From an Idea to an Online Venture

28 January 2013

Ideas tend to come up often; especially when one finds himself in a tight spot. But its not always easy to find ways to 'monetize' your idea, nor are all ideas good for making money. However when you find one you want to make the most of it by transforming it into a useful online venture.

I consider myself to be an entrepreneur; and in my free time I do like to cook up ideas, and evolve them slowly into viable online ventures. Obviously this blog is not one of these, its just my way of branding myself. Below are the things I consider before I start putting effort into converting any idea to an online venture.

  1. Who would use this service / product?

  2. Why would they need to use it? Are there any alternatives / competition?

Should my idea not get past these first two questions without a satisfactory answer, or a large enough user-base; whilst I wouldn't scrap the idea all together I will most likely shelve it. Then once a target audience and a market opportunity arises I look at the other part; building a viable business model.

  • Who will pay for the service / product? The Visitor/Client an Advertiser or other?

Sometimes that is not an easy question to answer, as you'd want to give value for both your customer and whoever is going to pay for you to run the service. And at time when this does not come as easy I tend to leave it there and think about it; when there are people that would use your idea, there are people who would pay in one way or another.

You've finalized your business model, built a couple of approximations which look quite promising and you want to go forward with it; now what next?

This is the stumbling block for most people, unfortunately its not as easy as one might think; if you plan to run your online business the very least you will need is a website, and yes unfortunately unless you are yourself a web developer, or have got money to spare you'd get stuck here. Most of the time this can be a stumbling block; but I would still suggest to try follow the following and see if someone would have the interest to develop with you the idea.

  1. What Features does your website require?

    Login / Blog / Multiple Languages / Payments

  2. How much time are you dedicating to it?

  3. When would you like to launch?

  4. When will you reach the target levels of visitors to meet your targets and start making profits from your online venture?

Having answers to the above will dictate the possibility of success of your idea, more so when you'll be looking for a partner to help in building your website; in most ventures I've been involved in it required a partner. A project usually requires various skills, and I only have a defined subset of, so convincing someone else your idea is worth time and involvement is essential even though not easy.

The final step would then be to launch your service and fully support it until it gets up to scratch. If the rest was easy this is probably the toughest part and the only one you cannot really predict yourself. Make sure you're on the lookout for signs and improvements to make your work a success, putting a venture there for people to see doesn't cut it anymore you have to be pro-active and make sure hat your business looks both professional and alive.

Written by Jonathan Mifsud

Jonathan Mifsud is a web developer by day and an SEO enthusiast by night. He provides freelance web development and consultancy services and is available for hire. You can get in touch with him on twitter and Google+

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