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Before you go investing a lot of time and money into a business idea that makes you excited, you need to make sure that the idea is viable enough to become successful. You may think that you have an awesome idea, but turning it into an amazing business idea isn’t as easy as you might think.
Here are some pointers you can use to help you figure out whether your business idea is truly viable or not.
Research Your Market
You need to do thorough research of your market to assess whether your idea is viable or not. Make sure you check on the internet, head to the library and source books, look for industry reports, and do whatever else it takes to find out as much as you can. You need to get a good idea of cost, competition, the size, and viability of your target market. Take a look at magazines, blogs, newspapers, and other media sources to help you too. You could even come up with a new market niche that changes the direction of your business idea entirely.
If you can, speak to members of your potential market and actually ask them what they want. Getting real feedback will help immensely when you’re trying to figure out whether to pursue something or not.
Figuring Out If You Have A Paying Customer
If you’re going to make a success of your business, then you need to make sure there are customers out there who are willing to pay for your services. You need to make sure your business is solving problems for your customer, but before you can do that you need to know exactly who your customers are. Here are some things you need to know before you can proceed:
- Their spending habits
- Their income
- How they make a purchasing decision
- What they like and don’t like
- Problems they face on a daily basis
You can find out by putting surveys and polls online, as well as interviewing potential customers and looking for existing data. When you have these answers, you’ll have a much better idea on who your customer is and what you can do for them. It can be a good idea to create diagrams of your customer so you get a feel for the specifics! This can also be fun, and it’ll help to give you somebody you can aim all of your marketing efforts at.
Get Honest Feedback
If you want to know whether your idea is truly viable, you need to get honest feedback. This means relaying your ideas to your family and friends and getting some real world advice from them. Speak to local store owners, and even your competition, just be careful you don’t give away too many details of your idea. By asking what your potential customers would want to see, you could potentially get some constructive feedback that will help you to better shape your business. Try speaking to an honest friend, an honest family member, or even an old boss who you know will be completely transparent with you. Of course you don’t have to listen to everything they say, but you should take it all on board and use it to help you start a better business.
It could be a good idea to chat to a legal professional to make sure your idea is safe while you gather feedback, too.
Come Up With An Effective Marketing Strategy
Before you start out properly, you’re probably going to have limited time and resources. This means you need to ensure you’re squeezing as much out of your marketing as possible. There are lots of marketing techniques in this day and age that are pretty inexpensive, such as using social media. You can also set up a small business website, which is a must even when you’re just starting out. It’s your 24/7 storefront.
It’s always a good idea to see if you can set some of your monthly budget aside for a marketing company to help you, as you’re going to be taking time away from your core practices to do it if you go it alone. This can water down both your business and marketing efforts and mean you don’t get anywhere at all.
Face to face networking is still one of the best ways to market your business, as you are able to build connections in the industry which can come in handy later on.
How Much Will Your Business Cost?
You need to know how much your business is going to cost to get an idea of whether you’re going to be able to do it or not. You need to be able to cover your expenses before you start bringing in cash, so knowing how much money you’re going to be burning monthly is imperative.
How much will your inventory, and other business components cost? What will the cost of labor be – will you be hiring employees? What are your overheads? Will you need financing? You can find out here what’s available for you. If you ask yourself these questions, do your research, and do the math, then you’ll get a much better understanding of whether this is a good idea.
Speak To People Who Have Been There And Done That
Starting a business alone can be terrifying, especially if you don’t know whether it’s going to be successful or not. Try speaking to people who have been there and done that – people in your industry, people who have their own business, and so on, and see if they can offer you any insight. This is why making connections is so important in any industry. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Take the above steps to figure out whether your business idea is viable enough to launch. You may need to do the research and come up with plans for three or more businesses before you find one that seems like it could go the distance. Is your business idea viable? Leave your thoughts below!