So you’ve submitted your planning drawings and received your permission from the local council. The drawings were modelled in Revit…
Before you even consider building a solution you should conduct market research. So many people think “oh I’ve a great idea everyone will surely love it as much as I do”. Luck in this case is usually the only way this happens. In most cases, you will need to pre validate your market through several steps. One of those steps is to conduct a potential end user interview. “Potential” means in this context, is that you think your target market’s problem is X and your concept or idea is Y will give you Z, Z being the MVP solution that you initially launch.
User interviews should not be lead to suit your solution, the user should not be aware of what your idea is or will be. This reduces any type of preconceptions regarding how they might give you answers. Questions should be open ended and the more your interviewee talks the better. It’s nice to talk about what you know about a market, but you need to be a good listener to ensure you’re solving a pain point for your end users.
An online questionnaire is a good prequel to an interview, this can be sent a few days or week before you meet the interviewee. This also gives you an agenda by having your interviewee expand on their answered questions. You’ll be surprised at how much you will learn from listening, this also presents the opportunity if a pivot is needed at a future point you have more data to look back on for ideas.
This interview also gives you honest tag lines or captions that will capture potential end-users once you launch your MVP. It’s important to be a visionary and think in 50-100 years “where might my startup be”, yet you must place your feet on the ground every so often, to ensure you are actually solving a current problem.
MVP = Minimum Viable Product is the bones of a solution or website that you can get out quickly. This will help establish user feedback to iterate to a BETA or full launch
Number 1 is define or establish your passion and then you want to pair it with other industries. For example; you like running and have extensive experience working in retail businesses, start thinking of a business that intersects at these points. As a guide but not a rule , it might play out something like this –
1. Starting a physical running gear store.
2. Turns into – how might I scale this ?
3. An online running store.
4. Research any sort of similar online businesses.
5. Pick the top 5 or so and try to identify a gap that they don’t address for customers.
Look for the niche, but be wary of solving a small rare problem (Watch Des Traynor on this). A small problem but one that occurs commonly is what you’re looking for. You will find that the larger startups get, they tend to leave behind “breadcrumbs” of customers that have not been entirely captured. This is also true in the fact that, companies establish their markets and the users that don’t convert, are most likely already looking for their niche product elsewhere.
Passion + Experience = MVP / Initial Solution
Generating ideas involves launching an MVP or Prototype, even if it’s only for you to grow your own thinking on the solution. WordPress or similar are great ways to make this happen, and free. When you start doing this, a lot more will fall into place, the seeds are now planted for what will eventually become the branding and marketing strategy for your startup.
Some good resources to help you get creativity flowing –
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I was recently curious regarding architectural statistics globally, it further led me to research Ireland’s numbers in this area also. I find the recession most interesting, demonstrating there was significant activity within the sector considering the economic conditions. The below table I compiled from CSO figures at the reference link below for Total no. of Granted Home Extensions in Ireland from 2009 – 2018.
Source – https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/pp/planningpermissionsquarter32018/
*2018 Q4 Figures were unavailable so an average was calculated based on previous Quarters.
To further apply financial revenue in terms of Design Fee’s for Design & Planning Stage. I compiled the below table, being as conservative as possible to what the average fee may have been. I have created scenarios assuming either €1500, 1200 or 1000, in my opinion, are on the conservative side.
The above would indicate that in 2013, at the lowest point we still had 5,695 home extensions granted. Even taking €750, as the average design fee would have generated €4.2 Million in the economy for SME Architectural/Design firms just for home extensions.
In addition, the total number of one-off homes granted (doesn’t include multi-housing development) is around 50% of the home extension’s granted figure. All of the above € figures are my own opinion and I welcome your contribution or contradiction.
In summary, Micro & SME firms contribute significantly to the architectural industry in Ireland.
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