How do you pick which business idea to go after? How do you choose a good business idea out of the many ideas you have?
I talk to a lot of people with great business ideas, wantapreneurs, if you will. And there is one question I hear them ask over and over:
“I have so many ideas, I don't know which one to pursue.”
And I gotta say, this problem happens to us all. I mean I've come up with 4 good ideas for businesses just since I started writing this post. The problem is, not all of them are going to make it. Some of those businesses would just never work in the real world. Sure it solves a problem and sure there are lots of people out there that may need whatever it is you thought up. But that doesn't mean it will make a good business.
So how do you pick one? How do you decide which one of your amazeball ideas to go after?
Step 1: Is this a valuable problem to solve?
Well let's start by picking one business idea that you are excited about and ask yourself about the unmet need. Can you make money with this idea? Look at the problem you want to solve and the people you want to solve it for. Prove that this need exists for others, gimme some data. I don't want to hear that you went to your kid's birthday party and all the other parents liked your idea…no no. I'm talking like real numbers, surveys, reports and government regulations. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the problem big, or is it small?
- Does it solve a problem that hundreds of people face? Or only a few handful?
- Who is your target customer?
- How are your potential customers solving the problem now, or are they going without?
- Why is this unmet need compelling, why is the problem worth solving?
- Will people pay? Do they have a history of paying for this type of product or service?
Step 2: Do you really have a solution?
Now let's look at that idea in terms of how realistic of a solution it is. Take some time and really think of how your idea solves this problem. And whether or not you can get this solution off the ground.
- Can your solution be done affordably or will it cost too much to manufacture or produce?
- How does it solve the problem?
- Do your target customers have a way to access your solution? Meaning, do they need to travel or have internet access?
- How is it unique from what's out there now?
- If nothing exists like your business idea, why is that?
- What's going on in the industry that you are entering? Is it crashing or booming?
Step 3: How are you gonna win?
This comes down to you and your unicorn-ness. Your individuality. Your spunk and pizazz (yes, I just said pizazz). How are you gonna make something that is soooo much better or soooo much awesomer than what's out there now? Or why do you have what it takes to win?
- Do you have any experience solving this problem? Do you know someone who does?
- What about competition? Is the market saturated, or under-developed?
- Do you have a unique way of solving the problem? Intellectual property? Inventions?
- What do you bring to the market that makes you prime for success?
Step 4: Repeat
Now do this again for your next idea. Chances are if you couldn't get more than half way done with this excercise, your idea might not be viable. But hey, don't be sad…you'll have 5 more ideas tomorrow. Keep 'em coming. And when you find the one, the big idea that is gonna make you a household name, make sure you get signed up for our Ecourse and get your business plan done!
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— TheOnRamp (@TheOnRampBlog) January 31, 2013