Let’s say you come up with a wonderful new idea for a product or a service. You take some time to flesh out this idea and really think you may have something. For all you know, this could be the next great business idea that leads to your business success.
Here’s the million-dollar question: how can you know whether your great idea can actually become a great business opportunity?
This is an important question to answer. The last thing any entrepreneur wants is to venture into a seemingly worthwhile idea that is doomed from the start.
According to a 2012 analysis from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, up to 44% of Australian businesses reported trouble with their management. These problems led to 40% of these businesses reporting problems with their cash flow and 33% encountering trading losses. And with women already under-represented in business leadership, you already have a tough enough challenge as it is!
To further the issue, financial professional Greg Hayes of Hayes Knight Accountants & Advisers discussed these findings in a recent article in the Huffington Post. As he noted, “One of the key reasons is that many small businesses start with a bad idea—an idea that was never going to work…”
So how can you know whether your great idea is also great for business? Here are a few essential questions to ask yourself to better understand if you should move forward with your prospective business idea or not.
Are You Truly Passionate About This Idea?
First and foremost, you have to understand how you really feel about your idea. You need to have a true passion for this idea that will translate your hard work into a successful business. You’ll be putting your blood, sweat, and tears into this venture. That’s why you absolutely must bring a passionate spirit to this pursuit.
While you certainly have challenges in front of you as a female entrepreneur, there’s also some good news. Today more than ever before, women entrepreneurs have continued to take centre stage. When you connect your passion with a solid business plan, you’ll be amazed at the enthusiastic response and support you’ll receive.
Can Your Idea Grow with You?
All sorts of great business ideas start small. But your business also needs to be able to grow and shift once it’s actually competing in the market. If you won’t be able to scale your business upward as you grow, you’re already limiting your potential. And if you can’t shift your idea once you’re in the market, that static nature could quickly put a cork in your success.
For instance, say you want to release a fitness app into the market. This app needs to be able to grow to accommodate your user base. Problems with overcrowded servers or inadequate functionality will eventually damage your growth potential if you’re not ready for it. Additionally, you may need to adjust what your app offers in order to better connect with your audience. If you can’t make these “lateral” shifts within your industry, you will also negatively impact your success potential.
Is There a Demand or Market for Your Idea?
Does all of your personal enthusiasm translate into a tangible market and demand for what you’ll be offering? Do research to determine the viability of your niche in the market. You can assess market viability through all the following resources:
- Government Demographic Data
- Industry Reports
- Growth or Shrinkage Trends
- Current Similar Products on the Market
Have You Tested the Market Yet with Ads and Marketing?
One of the most effective ways to truly confirm your success potential is by running some test ads. These ads and marketing efforts will help in all the following ways:
- They will show you the actual interest in your idea
- They will help you better identify your market
- They will reveal the real-world demand for your idea
You can run a few ads through sources such as Google AdWords or even Facebook to assess the social media success potential. If the results seem promising, then it’s time to go “full steam ahead” on the idea. If not, then you’ve saved yourself a lot of stress down the road towards a failed business idea.
Did You Speak with Your Potential Customers?
Advertising to your customers is definitely a great way to gauge prospective interest in your business idea. But what about just asking your potential customers about what you’re offering?
Taking the time to ask prospective customers what they think about your idea can yield all sorts of valuable insight. This type of honest, unfiltered feedback can show you exactly how real people feel about your idea. This can help you see how enthusiastic people feel about what you have—and maybe even give you some feedback on how to tweak your idea to make it even better or more attractive.
Taking the Plunge
Moving forward from an idea into a real-world business plan can definitely be daunting and sometimes terrifying. But successful businesses often begin right at that point of fear. Working with BCD, you can assess your idea ahead of time with the help of experienced professionals and businesswomen. They will help you to get a better sense of your own success potential. And that will give you all the confidence you need to move your great idea into a great business venture.
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