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How to make your business idea stick

You can come up with a million ideas before breakfast but how do you know if they will stick? How do you know if the idea is worth pursuing?

According to a book by Chip and Dan Heath, there are six principles to making an idea sticky. These principles make up the acronym “SUCCES”.


What is the core of your idea? This does not mean that your idea must be dumbed down. It means that the idea must be simple. We need to understand the critical essence of our idea. People don’t like to be bombarded with many concepts at one time. They want to hear about the core idea.


How does the idea surprise your potential customer? Does it open up a knowledge gap in their understanding. What is the counter-intuitive message of your idea? How can you make people think about your idea without auto filling in the gaps they already have about the idea?


Something becomes concrete if we can use our senses to experience it. We remember concrete ideas easier than abstract ideas. Therefore, we need to appeal to the senses of our customer.


We need to have the backing of authority figures who support our ideas. But if we can’t have the backing of the authority figures we can also create credibility through the use of concrete details, testable credentials, or statistics. It is important to back your idea with credibility.


What emotion does your idea evoke in people? Joy, delight, pain. It is important to make people have feelings towards your idea. They will not share it they don’t care about it. You can make people associate with your idea, apply to their ego or show how it can confirm their identity.


Have you ever heard someone share the specifications of an item they like? Probably not. Have you heard someone share a story about a product experience? Probably yes. People like to share stories. Stories help us to solve problems and they help us to be inspired to do something about our situation. What is your idea’s story?

By considering these six principles from Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Made to Stick, you will be well on the way to creating an idea that sticks. But there are a further two steps which you can take to make sure your idea sticks like glue.


Does the idea resonate with you? Many times people pursue ideas which do not resonate with their core. When your business reflects your personal beliefs and passions, it is easier to pursue and when the going gets tough, which it inevitably will do, it will be easier to stick to it.


Create a prototype or minimal viable product. You need to test your idea on your target market. By creating a prototype of the core product, you will be able to test it with your target market and make adjustments according to their comments to improve it. You can also send out surveys, have interviews, hold focus groups and beta test your product to ensure there is a market for your product. Even if it is the greatest idea, if there is no market then there will be no sales.

Now you can establish your business and work towards becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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