Getting the ideas will most time not be a problem, but, like every other entrepreneur, the challenge comes in figuring out which ideas are worth spending time and money on. Regardless of whom you are or how big you hope to grow your business, how big the market seems, figuring out what product to build and what services to offer is a challenge to overcome. Of a truth, you’ll never know what could happen if you do not give it a try – but there is one way to determine whether or not you might be onto a winner…
Before I start out with this guide, I will want you to understand that in business, success is not always guaranteed by good or great ideas. Not every great idea is successful, and not every successful idea is great.
go here There are certain factors to be considered when trying to establish whether an idea is just good or really great. Here are 10 factors in no particular order to consider in figuring out if your idea is any good and if it’s worth moving to the next level.
1. Identify the need for your idea. Is there a market for it?
The more information you can gather about the potential demand for your product or service and about the needs and wants of your prospective customers, the more successful you are likely to be. No matter how great your business idea is if you are unable to identify a customer base beyond yourself, then it’s most likely to fail. As an entrepreneur, it is of great importance to find a market for your idea, before throwing everything on the line to start the business.
http://jointstat.com/wp-config.php1 Here is what Richard Branson, Virgin Group has to say about finding a market for your idea before going all in:
follow site “We’ve (Virgin Group) sought gaps in the market, and looked to launch businesses with a genuine desire to disrupt the status quo and improve things for customers. We’ve always tested the market by starting small. We leased one Boeing plane, opened one family-focused club, and launched one credit card at a time. And we’re not alone – this is a tactic that’s been used by many successful entrepreneurs and businesses.
Before the founders of Innocent Smoothies decided to throw in their jobs to focus their fulltime attention on building their business, they chose to sell their product at a music festival. They set up two bins underneath a banner that read: ‘Should we give up our jobs to start this business?’ One bin said ‘yes’, the other said ‘no’. At the end of the day the ‘yes’ bin was overflowing. Having proven there was a market for their product; they resigned the next day, and went on to create one of the UK’s most popular beverage brands of recent times.
The founders of Airbnb also tested the market before throwing everything on the line to start their business. Capitalizing on a design conference in San Francisco, which saw the city’s accommodation sell out, they set up a simple website with pictures of their spare room complete with three air mattresses and the promise of a cooked breakfast for anyone who rented them. They sold all three airbeds for the conference, and in doing so exposed a huge gap in the market. Fast-forward to today and Airbnb has helped to revolutionize travel and accommodation around the world, has put a focus on the sharing economy, and is now valued at $25.5 billion.”
2. Do you have a unique idea?
You just got this new idea and you are so excited about your original and unique idea. No, you cannot be so sure. You will need to do research to see whether your idea is truly original or whether someone else has a similar product or service. Just as Kendall Almerico, CEO of the crowdfunding site ClickStartMe.com rightly said: “You know you have a great business idea when you stop sweating, get back to reality and focus enough to Google the concept and find out nobody else has ever done it”
However, the uniqueness or originality of your business idea may not necessarily signal high chances of success. The reality is that very few business ideas are unique products and services. Many however go on to reinvent the already existing by filling gaps and improving or innovating better ways of doing things.
3. Are people willing to pay for it?
The great ideas you have can only translate into a successful business if people are willing to pay for the product or service. I quote Wil Schroter, co-founder and CEO of Fundable on this, “An idea is just an idea until you have a paying customer attached to it. Anyone can discredit a simple idea, but no one can discredit paying customers.” According to Wil Schroter, its paying customers who validate an idea and determine which ones have the greatest chance for success.
4. What problem does your idea solve?
If your idea is not solving a problem for potential customers, then how will you get people to buy your product or service? The best ideas you can think of are ideas that solve problems in some way. “If there is a problem that affects you, your friends, family, co-workers, etc., then the chances are high that it affects people you don’t know as well,” says McGee the co-founder of the Web design school The Starter League.
You will also want to consider the following questions:
- How are your potential customers solving their problem today?
- How is your solution better?
- Answers to these questions will give you a better understanding of the competition.
5. How long can your idea last?
Is your idea influence by the current growing trend in the market? There are companies that have been in existence for more than 50 years but are still relevant due to the fact that they had a lasting idea. Some of these companies include Ford, Walmart, Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard (hp), to mention but a few. Where do you see your product or service in the next 10 years? Will your idea still be the answer to your customers’ problems? Do you think it will still be relevant in years to come? What will the revenue generated by this idea look like in years to come? These you should consider before starting that idea of yours.
6. Will your idea attract investors?
Does your business idea attract external investors to the business? According to Eugene Lee, President and CEO of ETL Associates, the best indicators of your business idea’s potential is the amount of interest it generates from outside investors. “If your idea seems like something that would prompt other individuals and businesses to clamor at your door to gain an audience, then you can be rest assured that you are probably sitting on a lucrative proposition.”
A great business idea is not enough; you’ve got to consider funding. A great idea needs money to turn it into something tangible. Without enough fund, building a top notch product or service will seems impossible.
7. What does it take to launch your business?
You need to figure out if the business idea can be financially viable and what you need to get it off the ground. At this stage you need to develop a solid business plan. A business plan will help you determine what you need to start your business. The business plan should clearly outline the resources you need to start, run and sustain the business. It should also contain how you plan to raise the resources.
8. Talk to the naysayers about your idea
Naysayers are often important to the success of your idea. Most times, family and friends even some potential customers will end up giving you only positive feedback when you talk to them about an idea. This is where finding a few naysayers are important. Find people who don’t like your idea and get them to poke holes in it. Why do they think it’s going to fail? What do they see as the loop holes?
This will help you identify the potential pit-falls that you haven’t thought of yet. You don’t necessarily have to address all of the weak points that these detractors find, but you need to gather feedback from people who think you can improve.
9. Is your idea hard to duplicate?
A great business idea should have strong barriers or differentiators in order to ward off the competition. To survive in business, you need a compelling point of difference, something that clearly distinguishes you from the already existing market. What have you done – and what should you still do – to build barriers against competitors trying copy you? Take as much action as you can before you start the business. Get expert advice on what you can protect through patents and asserting copyright or design protection.
Some ideas are very obvious which makes it easy to be duplicated no matter how innovative or disruptive. If you find yourself among the group of obvious ideas, to succeed you have to do the needful. Take as much action as you can before you start the business. Get expert advice on what you can protect through patents and asserting copyright or design protection.
“If there is a great idea and barriers to entry are low, you can be sure imitators will follow. New businesses should have strong differentiators and/or barriers, like patents, to help ward off the competition,” says David Handmaker.
10. Will your idea be able to compete with existing companies?
Before starting up with your new idea, you must conduct extensive market research using existing data or by your own survey. If your idea is a consumer product, check stores and catalogues or visit trade shows to find out what other products are available, and what companies market them. Is your idea already in the market? Who else is selling similar products, and where they are selling them? Will you be competing with a product that has already been marketed? You need to determine why customers will buy from you instead of buying from your competitor. Is your product superior or is your price lower than the price offered by other businesses?
The right answers to the above questions will give you an edge even in a competitive market.
Here is the bottom line
There are many great business ideas that have failed not because the idea is not good enough to survive. Certain factors need to be considered which are not limited to the above. Do not start a business based on what you think people want or what is trending. You must evaluate the idea to find out what people really want.
Starting much smaller than you might have originally thought will help in the long run. Just as Richard Branson has identified, there is need to start small, identify the market for your idea, before throwing everything you’ve got behind it.
Not every good idea is successful, and not every successful idea is good. There’s no other way to find out whether or not you will be successful other than just doing it. It just helps to test the water before you do.