Five Steps to Creating Value out of an Idea Sheltowee Outpost Alex Day Aug 24 2014 Ideas are a dime a dozen and just an "idea" is worth nothing. If you have an idea and you want to turn that idea into a valuable asset, there are some things that you need to do. Investors do not invest in ideas. They invest in companies. And you will absolutely have at least one investor. You may be the only investor, but you will have an investor if the idea moves forward at all. Below are some of the first steps you can take to generate value out of your idea. These are the minimal steps you should take on your own before you even think about seeking outside investment dollars. 1. Create an LLC- Come up with a name for your company and form an LLC. This LLC will hold the intellectual property for your idea. And that "intellectual property" may simply be the idea. By forming a company and having a name for the company, you are demonstrating that you have a level of sophistication that knows you need a legal entity. So you have taken your first step to generating real value out of your idea. 2. Create an Identity Package for your Company- You may think that this is a small thing (and it is), but it can have a big impact. In a Business in a Box presentation, I show you how to get a professional logo done for as little as $50.00. This $50.00 investment will be well worth it. This does not mean that this will be your final logo and identity package, but at least you look more professional. 3. Put up a website- You do not need to have anything fancy. But it will be worth the investment to have a website up and be able to direct people to it for general information on your company. 4. Have a business plan- Don't get crazy on the first iteration of your business plan. It may simply be an executive summary, but there will be value for you and you will impress people to be able to show you have at least committed something to writing to demonstrate you are thinking through your concept. It would be very helpful to have a minimal budget in place as well. 5. Know who your customers are going to be- It helps a lot to be able to show to investors that you know who your customers are going to be. If you have actually talked to these potential customers and have some feedback…Wow. You are way ahead of the game. Once you take these steps, you have laid a solid foundation for being able to generate value out of your idea and your investors will appreciate it, even if you are the only investor. And now you will have the option to bring on other investors if you want. By making a minimal investment yourself by taking these steps, you have positioned yourself to generate value out of your idea.