Man, that’s harsh. And it’s what you’ve been afraid of. That’s why most potential entrepreneurs avoid starting businesses, even if they’ve got an idea they think could have some legs. Fear that even though they think their business idea is viable, maybe they are crazy. Maybe other people won’t think so. Maybe they are missing something.
I’m not trying to discourage you or tell you trying to start a business is just not worth it. Obviously, most people are going to take a far more positive and encouraging stance on this. “Sure!” they’ll say, “Go for it! Sounds great to me!” But guess what? They’ve got no skin in the game. It’s easy for outsiders to tell you they think your business idea will work and is worth trying, because it costs them nothing to do so. They aren’t taking the risk. You are.
So, don’t you want to find out if your business idea is TRULY viable? Well, then let’s throw some stones at this thing and see how it holds up. It’s easy to talk yourself into all of the reasons why an idea you came up with, that you already like, will probably work. But trust me, you’re going to do yourself far more good by trying to think of all the reasons why it won’t work, and the challenges you are going to be up against.
What’s The Problem?
The first question you need to ask yourself, is WHY does your business need to exist? What is the problem that your customers are facing that you and your business are going to solve for them. Your business must have a clear drive to fulfill a need from the very beginning, and the fulfillment of this need must remain at the core of your business throughout its growth and development. This is your businesses purpose, and entire reason for existing.
Are You Different?
Chances are, you are probably not the first person to attack this problem. If you think you are, you’re either wrong, or should be very wary of the reasons why. “Nobody else has thought of this/tried this,” is often wishful thinking. For most businesses, you are going to have some form of competition. So, what is it that your company is going to do that your competitors aren’t doing? What makes your product or approach or company unique? Why will you stand out in the marketplace?
Who Are You For?
It is one of the irrefutable rules of the universe. What goes up must come down. Every day has its night. And every seller needs a buyer. No matter how big or small of a company you are imagining, businesses simply do not operate in a vacuum. You are going to have to work with a customer. So, who are these customers that you’re going to work with? Who are your products or services for? Do these people actually want what you are selling? Do some real market research if you can. Ask friends and family, make some phone calls, put out a survey on social media. The more you can get to know your potential customers and get inside their heads, the better prepared you’ll be. If and when you do decide to cast your line into the startup pond, you want to be sure you’re going to get some bites.
How Much Will This Cost?
Sorry to be a bucket of cold water, but you’ve got some numbers to crunch. The greatest idea in the world will remain just an idea forever if there’s no way to pay for it. If you are manufacturing a product, figure out how much materials are going to cost to acquire. If you have to hire employees or freelancers, how much will those people cost? What are your overhead costs for things like office space, utilities, administrative, marketing and legal support? And oh yeah, what is the value of YOUR OWN time? You might not be able to narrow in on exact figures just yet, but you’d better be able to make pretty educated guesses. Once you’ve sorted all of that out, figure out what you need to charge your customers – and whether or not that’s a price anyone will pay.
I know it’s hard to ask yourself these questions and really look for honest answers. But if you don’t scrutinize your business idea now, you can be sure that your potential customers, partners, and investors will later. If you can be your own hardest critic, and your business idea can stand up to all of that criticism, you are going to have a much better shot of proving to the rest of the world that you do, in fact, have a viable business idea.
Need someone to bounce some of these thoughts off of and then help translating your goals and strategy into your branding and marketing efforts? Business strategy is our strength. Contact us today to discuss launching and growing your business.