From the June 2009 issue of Entrepreneur

Got a great idea? Before you tell the world, read these pointers from Reno Lovison, a business growth and marketing strategist and the author of Turn Your Business Card into Business, for what to say and who to say it to.

  • Initially, don't try to sell people on your idea. Instead, state the benefits and see if the desire is there. At this stage, you need real feedback, not disciples.
  • Confer with people in the business or industry in which you will be operating. You don't have to explain your whole idea, but you can probe for trends in the marketplace.
  • Don't share your idea just to share it. Try to get useful information by asking potential users questions like: "Would you use this service if it were available to you?" or "If there was a service that could help you find the answer now, would you use it?"
  • If the cost of entry is low, and you haven't done too much development, be careful talking with people who have more resources than you and who are in a position to act on your idea. Once you start talking, be prepared to also start developing.