We’ve all been through moments where it seemed like we’ve landed on an idea that will make us millions of dollars. Sometimes though, our ideas are not as great as we think they are. Anyone remember the infamous Edsel car circa the 1950s? How do you work out whether your idea is awesome or awful? If the idea sucks, is there any way to rescue it?
Test Your Market
Testing the market is the most important thing for any budding entrepreneur to do. Having a great idea is one thing but knowing that there’s someone, or hopefully lots of people, who will turn into paying customers is quite another. Your market research should help you discover whether anyone would be interested in your product or service, what competition is out there, whether any similar businesses have failed or why nobody offers your product or service already. A great way of working out if there would be interest in your idea is to buy ads online or ask people to sign up on your mailing list notifying them of developments in your product. To entice potential customers, people have given way free products like an ebook if they sign up.
If nobody clicks on your ads or registers for updates, chances are the idea needs some work.
Finding out who your target market is also helps significantly in advertising. Knowing who you’re trying to attract is an important factor in success and its value is priceless. If you think your idea will be successful and you know who (and more importantly, how) to market it to, those are two less things, huge things, you have to worry about.
Thinking About Your Business Long Term
It is essential that you think about whether or not there is longevity in what you offer. Latching onto trends with no idea of how to develop or grow them is a bad idea. If you start off by simply picking one thing and being exceptional at it then your concentrated efforts will hopefully pay off. Profits will start to roll in and you can start diversifying your business. If you cannot even imagine at the planning stage where else your business could potentially go, then the chances are that it will not go very far.
If it seems like your idea is not gaining much traction in the marketplace or you can’t envision how an idea could later grow, there is no need to put more effort into it. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss your idea entirely. As long as you have done all this research before you started investing lots of money in the idea then you haven’t lost much. You should keep the idea on the backburner and see whether the same principles might be incorporated in a different context later.
Failure is also a perfect motivator for self-reflection. What was it about the idea that made you latch on to it and why was this the wrong thing to do? It’s been said that the difference between an expert and a beginner is that the expert has failed more times than the beginner has even attempted. When you’re trying to work out if your business idea is awesome or lame, do the research, be decisive and move onto the next idea if you need to. Failure is an option so failing fast will leave you more time for success later.
It’s important to ask yourself, are you solving a real problem? It’s okay if others have tried to solve it before, just make sure there’s enough room for your business to make an impact. And if after asking yourself this you’re still sure of your idea, then go forth and have complete confidence. Sure, you might end up taking a few steps back instead of forward somewhere along the road, but owning a business has never been smooth sailing for anyone