Do you find yourself feeling unfulfilled and smothered in your 9-5 role? Are you constantly daydreaming of potential sure-fire business ideas that will rescue you from your mundane day job and elevate you to high-flying entrepreneur levels?
Before you hand in your resignation, it’s worth making sure that your fool-proof business idea can actual make you money and is financially viable. It’s a very thin line between having a profitable business and what could turn out to be a very expensive hobby!
Read our five-point checklist before you make your move:
Is my business idea relevant?
The most successful business ideas are those that fulfil a need or are solutions to everyday problems. An idea that will be a benefit to people is half way to selling itself. Of course it’s easier said than done to come up with a fresh million pound idea, but no one said you had to invent the next teleportation device! As you go about your day, write a list of solutions/ideas of things that you notice would make your life that little bit easier and comfortable. Or perhaps you are a guru in your hobby or interest, can you monetize it? Having said all this, some of the best business ideas were stumbled upon by accident; post it notes, cornflakes and crisps were all accidental discoveries. Go figure!
Get rid of the rich quick attitude
In the early days of a business all of your patience, confidence and skills will be tested like nothing else. If you think you are going to be an overnight sensation, it’s time to think again! An often repeated stat is that 90% of start ups will fail, so you must be prepared to be in it for the long haul. If you started your business purely to make money quickly, there’s a good chance it will nose-dive. A massive dose of passion in your idea and business is crucial to see you make it to the 10% side of the fence.
Benchmark against similar businesses
A common mistake that many budding entrepreneurs make is that they think their business idea must be brand new. This is simply not true. However, you must be able to distinguish your business idea from more established brands with the same idea or you will soon start to struggle. It’s important that you highlight your business’s strong unique selling points (USPs), perhaps look at your competitors’ weaknesses and build on these areas for your idea. There is usually a way to add value and differentiate from an established business. I’m not advocating you copy, but rather build on the service/product and add your own mark by perhaps offering a wider range or better customer service?
Test run your idea
It may seem rather expensive for potentially no return, but it may be a good idea to do a mini dry run of your potential business to see if anyone will actually buy your service/product etc. Take the time to invest in a few samples of your idea or product, and then actually go through the motion of selling them. Seeing how popular it is, or not, could give you a crystal clear indication of whether your idea will sell. Make a point of targeting your future customers/audience to see if your idea resonates. This process may have a cost attached to it, but it could end up saving you loads more money if your idea ends up being dead in the water! There’s nothing like good old fashioned feedback!
Knowledge is power
Possibly the most important point on this checklist; market research, market research, market research! There’s no getting away from it. Once you’ve come up with your business idea, you must check whether anyone will actually buy it, who will buy it, how much you should charge for it. These and so many more questions can only be answered by doing your research. While it is a very unsexy side of rolling out a business idea, without conducting exhaustive market research, you will not have the knowledge and information to get your idea out of the gate.
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