You must have heard a million times that the secret to a great business is a great business idea. Perhaps, you’ve thought long and hard, or maybe you simply stumbled on it, and it seems like what you’d call a business idea. But how do you know you’ve got a great idea? How can you tell this is the one that will eventually change everything? The goal of every entrepreneur is to be the most sought-after investor.
Some others just want to be able to buy a vacation home in a tropical beach and bask in their newfound fame.
But how do you know it’s really such a good idea? What standards are you judging it by? Keep in mind that the world is full of people who want to do business and succeed. So you need more than “gut instinct” if you’re going to pull through with your idea. From my interactions with successful business owners, there are certain things that I’ve realized they all did at the stage of conceptualizing the business. Here
are 5 ways you can know whether or not you’ve got a good idea.
5 Ways to Know you have a great Business Idea
I have provided five key things to do to check how great your business idea is:
1. Ask yourself if it Solves a Problem
If your business idea solves a problem, you’re sure to be a success, all other things being equal. Mike McGee, founder of the Starter League, explains that your business idea will likely solve the problems of a whole lot of people if it does those of yours, your family, friends and relatives. Does it answer the question “who needs it” affirmatively? If people need the product or service you intend to offer, chances are that they’ll pay for it.
Identify these needs and you’ll be in business for a long time.
2. Ask Colleagues, Mentors, or Advisors
Another good way to know if your business idea is a great one is to ask people you trust. You probably have people in your life, especially those you’ve worked with on business matters before. If you think of them as trusted colleagues or advisors, and you have a business idea you’d like to test out, consider asking them for their honest
feedback. It is important that these guys are completely honest with you; there’s no point being sentimental about it.
I have a friend back in my school days. She had her fair share of skin troubles; acne, stretches, and patches. Her fruitless search for a remedy led her to read up on skin conditions and natural therapies. She produced her first mixture and had us (her friends) monitor her skin’s recovery progress. Today, she’s the CEO of Karis Care,
makers of all sorts of natural skincare products. Apart from identifying a need, she also interacted with friends who were honest with her.
ALSO READ: HOW TO START A BUSINESS
It is possible you’re just starting out and don’t yet know anyone in business? In the words of Media Moguls CEO, Blair Nastasti, “Mentors can be people in your same field, or even free mentors or business advisors through the SBA (or other agencies), but the value of getting a professional’s opinion on your idea can not be emphasized enough”. People are more willing to help than you think. And this is a great way to tell if you
have a great business idea.
3. Is there a Market for It?
Why would anyone want to sell a product that nobody needs? While new ideas for entirely new products could make a break, you’d do better if your idea is an improvement on an existing product. You need to assess market trends carefully to know a market niche that is truly lucrative. Rebekah Allan wrote; “I heard of a business story from AppSumo. They wanted to prove that any business idea is a good idea but how to find out if it was sell-able idea? They set a goal of making and extra $1k in a month. They wrote a list of 5 ideas, chose the top 3 and then chose the top 1 – selling jerky. Everyone likes jerky, right? Now, I said sell jerky, not make jerky. And they didn’t have a supplier yet, but that is a detail that doesn’t
need to be worked out”. “What did need to be worked out? Whether it would sell. They decided on a monthly subscription where you get a months worth delivered at a time, rather than selling by the packet. And over the next 30 days they went out and sold it with no website. How? By using their connections and friends and family members. People they already knew”. Starting with the people around you is always the right way to go.
4. Go Grassroots
You might want to consider knocking on a few doors. Grassroots campaigns are
important. You would usually need to get out into their communities physically and talk to your neighbors. Talking to people directly about an issue or cause can really help to ascertain if your business idea is great. From going door to door to talk personally to setting up a booth during the block party, this is one method that was often used in the era before the internet to gather a lot of data.
This old school approach is a great idea for those who are starting businesses in
established and close-knit neighborhoods. This first contact can also help to build long lasting business relationships. If your business idea is for a storefront or restaurant in a specific area, getting out onto the streets and directly asking what the locals want
and need is a great way to get a sense of what will be successful there. There is also the idea that people will respond more candidly if you talk to them personally. It’s a bonus that you’ll get to know your neighbors and ingratiate yourself with the community.
5. Be your own Guinea Pig (Test your Product)
An article on wikihow suggests; “use the product yourself. Since you’re the one with the idea for the product in the first place, you’ll be the first line of testing. Try out your product on your own and see how it works. Keep track of little frustrations, elements of the product in need of tweaking, and spend a good deal of time using and thinking about the product you’re testing. As you use the product, keep a journal or a voice recorder with you to keep track of your experience of the product as you’re
using it. You might tend to remember all the bad or all the good later on”.
Some business ideas require a human guinea pig or a person willing to volunteer to use the product or perform the service. If you can honestly do this yourself, it will save you time and money. If it works for you, it will probably work for others.
Starting a business is one tough activity that we all have to do at one point in life or the other. It is a make or mar attempt. It can work or just turn out to be one of life’s biggest mistakes. With these 5 steps, you can know if your business idea will work or not. But these are not all exhaustive. You can send us your experience. Let’s know what has worked for you. Write your suggestions in the comment box below.