Everyone has good ideas. They can be conceived any and everywhere and come to you when you least expect them. These flashes of inspiration are exciting, and often, people feel compelled to fight for an idea they believe in. A good idea can impact audiences worldwide, stimulate the economy and bring fame and fortune to its creator. However, a good idea cannot stand alone.

The problem with good ideas is that most of them remain just that, a good idea. Without validation, a good idea has no foundation to stand on. You must throughly think through your idea and formulate a meticulous plan of action to make it into a tangible reality. The Steve LeVine Entertainment and Public Relations team has come up with three tips to help you do just that.

  1. Validate Legitimacy

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Each good idea can be validated in different ways by different people. For example, let’s say you want to start an internet marketing business. You first need to make sure your idea is unique. Has it been done before? Your business is different from the others because of its “secret sauce.” Your secret sauce is the differentiator; it is what makes your idea stand out. So with your sauce in hand, you are now ready to take the next step: validate your idea. An easy way to accomplish this is by reaching out to people in your target market. For example, let’s say you email 10 friends who fall into the desired demographic. You ask each friend if they are willing to pay a specific price for your proposed product right now. If you receive 10 emails back saying, “Yes, your product is something we need and are willing to pay for,” then chances are you’re on to something with immense potential. Ultimately, the market dictates your success. If no one is willing to buy, then your idea cannot be validated. This is one form of validation, but there are many others.

2. Financing Your Idea

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Financing is another important factor in bringing your idea to life. You now have this great idea, but you need money to cover the costs of starting and implementing your proposed product or service. For your marketing company, this could entail buying a domain name, setting up a website and creating content. In this case, the startup costs are fairly low, however, what if you want to manufacture a product? A project like this requires a great deal of up front capital that may require funding from investors or seed money from a business loan. Financing, along with a clearly defined business plan, are essential when validating the feasibility of pursuing your idea.

3. Protect Your Idea

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Legal protection is key when pursuing a good idea through to fruition. You need to make sure your “secret sauce” cannot be copied or manipulated by an outside party. Patents in all their glory are fundamental to securing your business. First, not all ideas need patents, but it is always worth looking into before following through with your idea. If you decide you need a patent, you may encounter some obstacles. The main one being cost, as patents are expensive. It takes thousands of dollars to hire a patent attorney to help you file for a legally binding patent agreement. However, fear not, as there are ways to work around this. The first being filing a provisional patent. A provisional patent secures your filing date, and after filing, leaves you with one year to submit a fully drafted patent. Outside of this, state universities are a great place to start. Most law schools have intellectual property clinics where students take on patent work as a way to fine tune their legal skills before entering the workforce. If accepted into the clinic, you can receive a fully drafted professional patent that is ready for submission.

The point is that good ideas are only as good as their ability to be validated. Validation can come in many forms and is essential to transforming a good idea into a detailed plan for success. A good idea left as a good idea is a waste. So next time inspiration strikes, write it down, tell a friend and get to work. That’s it for this week’s #TipTuesday! Check back next week for another round of quick tips.