Have you got a business idea? Have you been sitting on it for months on end, knowing you’ve got the chance to make something good out of it? Well, now could be the time to make that happen, but only if your idea has the chance to take form. And to ensure that, you’re going to have to guarantee some things right now. So with that in mind, here are three questions to ask about your business idea when you get to the point of putting a plan into action.
What Does the Market Think?
Have you done your market research? Do you know what kind of customer you’re trying to target? Have you made any moves to ask around for some real feedback? If not, this is your time to find out what the market really thinks. Without their good will, you’re never going to sell a single unit!
Start with your nearest and dearest; you’re likely to have gotten an idea for a gap in the market from them already. Show them your ideas, especially if you’ve drawn up a prototype. Ask for their honest feedback, and don’t let them lie to you. Then, think about holding a wider focus group – you’ll have to compensate people for their time, but that brings us on to the next question.
Do You Have Funding Options?
The next thing to do is seriously consider how you’re going to raise funds. Are you ready to set up meetings with investors? Is there a government grant you could apply for? Do you have any savings of your own that aren’t in an emergency fund? And if none of these apply to you yet, how are you going to reach any of these points?
Don’t let yourself feel too downhearted by a seeming lack of funding options; there are more out there than you realize. For example, you could look into an equity crowdfunding agency to do the legwork for you, and there’s always a chance that friends and family will give you the time of day as well.
What Competition Will You Come Up Against?
Following on from the need for market research, are you aware of the competitors that exist for your intended product or service? Do you know how long they’ve been in business? Do you know what they offer, in terms of value for money and add-ons to their original sale? And can you do any better?
These companies are going to be more established than you, but you’ve still got a chance to take up some of their market share. The way to beat them? Know them! Take your time to see how they work, and even talk to ex-employees to ask about their experience. All in all, you’ve got the ability to be different, and to offer difference, and the customer loves choice.
Your business idea has legs, but is it ready to go? Maybe not just yet; double check the questions above first.