If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve come up with a business idea, and whilst many of these ideas do hold potential, it’s common to dismiss and let them simply remain a good idea. Whilst this is an injustice in itself, on the other end of the spectrum far worse things are happening, with people pushing half-baked ideas only to find that their dreams never quite take off the ground.
Before starting up a business venture, it’s absolutely essential to research the idea thoroughly, interrogating every inch of it until you’re confident it can hold a solid ground on which to build on. But whilst ideas can come in a variety of different forms, sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between a “bad” and a “good” idea to start a business on, as even some of the more promising ideas can look good in theory, however won’t be sustainable in practise.
If you’ve got a business idea you’re considering pursuing, it’s worth asking the following questions, helping to base the idea in reality, and in turn validating its feasibility.
Question 1) Has Someone Else Already Pursued This?
Whilst you’ve thought up this idea by yourself, if it’s a good one that caters to a well-known problem, others might have thought of it too. Therefore, it’s important to conduct thorough research into the idea to see if someone’s beaten you to it, and if so, how strong of a competitor they really are.
A quick Google should be able to provide you with the answer to this question. If you find even one business venture that’s been built around your idea and executed well, or better than you could compete with based on the resources you have, odds are the idea probably isn’t sustainable, and therefore not worth running with.
Question 2) Is There a Need Your Idea Fulfils?
One of the most vital questions to ask yourself before starting a business up is this – will people use your services/product? A key contributor in answering this question is whether your idea fulfils a need within the public, does it solve a problem people commonly face? Is it useful enough that people will buy it?
When thinking up a business idea, it’s worth approaching this from the perspective of solving a problem, rather than introducing something new that’s unrelated to people’s everyday lives and struggles. Following on from this, it’s also vital to make sure the issue your idea helps to solve is widespread enough, ensuring that you’ll have enough of a target audience to attract and further help your business thrive.
Question 3) Is It Sustainable?
Another major point to consider when testing out the validity of your business idea is to check it’s sustainable. Taking advantage of a latest fad, whilst potentially popular at first, doesn’t provide stable grounds for long-running business operations. Fads come and go, however, your business shouldn’t follow suit.
Instead, to help set your business up for the longer-term, it can help to build this around an idea that solves a long-term issue, helping to make this a more sustainable, and therefore more successful, venture to follow. It can help to conduct thorough market research into this, helping to identify the needs your idea meets, and the likelihood that these will still exist a year or so down the line.
Question 4) Does It Hold the Potential for Scalability?
A key factor to consider when starting a business is determining its potential scalability. In order for a business to thrive, it’s vital that it holds the potential to expand and grow. When considering the scalability of your idea, it’s good to ask yourself, could this idea grow into new markets? Does the business have room to develop other money-making operations? Does your business idea hold the potential for evolution as years go on?
If your idea is not appropriate for scalability, and can only really operate in its current form, it might be too stagnant to succeed as a business, considering the world is in an ever-evolving state.
The Make or Break
If your idea still stands as a viable business after rigorous testing and market research, you can go forward in pursuing this with confidence. However, on a more difficult note, if you find that your idea isn’t actually that viable, it may be best to let it go.
Whilst it can be hard to give up on an idea that initially brought a lot of excitement, it can help to prevent a lot more heartache if the business doesn’t succeed later down the line. Before starting off on any business venture, it’s therefore vital to check that your idea is good enough to run with, helping to provide that boost of confidence that your startup’s foundations are strong, whilst also stopping others from the detriments of running with a bad idea.