Do you have business ideas that never materialise?
It’s an ongoing joke in our family that we have conversations that start with “Business idea number (huge) ..……” and then we go on to describe whatever it is.
If you’re even the slightest bit entrepreneurial you probably have similar conversations.
We all have ideas, the hard part is following through and mitigating risk.
Whilst you’re still in the ‘thinking’ stage, these are some questions you need to ask yourself about your product or service idea:-
1) Is this business going to solve a problem for a person or business? Solving a problem is a crucial to your success. Is it a genuine problem? Will it really improve or solve the situation? Be really honest with yourself, will it save time or just add another process? Will it provide additional comfort or add a high degree of luxury?
2) Is this a common problem? Are the people who have this problem easy to identify? In other words, is there a market for your solution? Think about where you can do some market research and find out if people would actually buy your product or service.
3) Is it financially viable? If you have to manufacture your product will it cost more to produce, market and distribute than people are willing to pay for it? Will it make a profit? This is absolutely crucial, what appears to be a really good idea can fall flat on it’s face at this stage. Whilst people may think it’s a good idea the ratio of what it costs, to the perceived size of the problem is crucial. How much will it cost to start up and is it feasible to raise the capital you will need to start?
4) Can you grow your business? Is it in an expanding market? Are more people likely to want it in the future? Can you scale and duplicate it? Can you offer a bigger range of products, have more outlets, make improvements & reach more customers maybe in different locations?
All businesses start as a thought. So it’s not surprising with all the variables that have to be taken into consideration, that most ideas people have for businesses, never get past the ‘business idea number 9,029……’ stage.
Some people prefer to find a blueprint (a franchise, for example) of an already successful business and start there, rather than work though all the painful steps to discovering if their business idea will be financially viable.
I already have a business that gives me a high degree of personal freedom, so when I was looking for a new income stream I wasn’t prepared to compromise that hard won freedom by buying a franchise which would effectively tie me down to a specific location, employees and a routine. Basically I wanted to avoid all the headaches that come with traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses.
I had some cash available but I didn’t have the huge amount of capital (nor did I want to take on the huge debt) that the best franchises require. Nevertheless I was looking for the income potential of the biggest franchises. I was prepared to work hard but I wanted to be able to work wherever and whenever I wanted and not be tied to a set routine. So, I bet you’re thinking "that’s impossible” but you’ll be pleasantly surprised - this is what I found:-