How do I know if my business idea will work? Part 1 of 3

So, you think you want to be an entrepreneur?

Ready to go into business for yourself?

Ready to work harder than you ever had in your life?

Ready to work for free?

Ready to be your own boss?

If you answered yes to those questions, then you must have a great reason to jump into what I call the “entrepreneurial abyss.” The entrepreneurial abyss is when someone decides they want to leave their J.O.B. and become their own boss for the first time.  It’s just like jumping into a foggy abyss. You cannot see the bottom. You cannot see what’s in the fog. You hope to find a parachute in the fog while you are descending into the abyss.  Sound scary?  It can be.

Today, entrepreneurs have a wealth of information at their fingertips to help them get started. There are online classes and local workshops for those ready to start a business, local state and community mentoring programs, you can hire a coach or consultant to help you get started.

There must be a valid reason for you to leave (or slowly transition out) your J.O.B. Maybe, you can do what your current employee does but only better? Maybe, you could provide better service than you see in the marketplace. Maybe, you have a unique product or service you think people want.  Whatever the reason you also have a question in your head – How do I know if my business idea will work?

I hear this question stated many ways and here are just a few of the suggestion I provide my clients to get them to answer their own question.

First, you MUST conduct market research.  DO NOT leave your J.O.B. or do any rash decision making yet.  You don’t need a business plan or anything like that.  You MUST look at who is in the market you want to enter into.

If you want to make a better widget:

  • Then start by going on the Internet and find out the top 10 manufactures of widgets
    • What materials do they use?
    • What process do they use to make the widget?
    • What are their sales?
    • Who do they sell to?
    • How many employees do they have?
    • Etc…
  • Look for the top 10 sellers of widgets
  • Look for the top distributors of widgets
  • Look for online reviews on why people buy widgets
  • Ask people in your network what they like and dislike about brands of widgets
  • Check out the widget association and get data on all aspects of the market
  • Maybe you will find government regulations on the production and sales of widgets
  • Know everything for every process step you can possibly know about widgets from design to final consumer use.

Knowing who is making and selling what you would like is critical. Without doing your market research you cannot determine if your idea is even viable.  Do not believe some large corporation that has been around for 100 years is going to kill your product or idea – they are not going to. Because you believe that they will crush you therefore, you will never get your business off the ground due to some false preconceived thought.

Now, you’ve done extensive market research and still believe the final consumer will want to purchase your product or service.  You must keep in mind, you are going in business to satisfy a consumer need or want, sell your product or service to make money.  That is the bottom line.  You can give all the money you make away, but the goal of business is satisfying a consumer need and to make money.

This is part 1 of a 3-part series.

Steve Feld, Certified Business Coach, provides training and business performance coaching to business owners, professionals and executives. He also conducts workshops and training on a variety of subjects for business owners, executives and their staff which he customizes to every organization to provide the greatest positive impact. Contact Steve today to see how he can assist you grow your business, www.bizcoachsteve.com, www.stevefeld.focalpointcoaching.com.