How Do You Know if You Have a Potential Business Idea?

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Potential business idea: Everyone has it but do you think you have what it takes to turn it into a success?

A potential business idea is almost always an elusive idea. It might be hard to come by or it's simply presenting itself in front of us. Here’s the thing: every business didn’t achieve their own level of success overnight. They all began with a simple idea, an idea that can be considered transformative and innovative. Fully realizing this idea came with its own set of risks and challenges, but staying true to their belief with the idea enabled these entrepreneurs to overcome these hurdles.

As a serial entrepreneur, I always had a potential business idea in my head that I would’ve loved to pursue, but ultimately didn’t. Why, you ask? Because, though an idea might seem innovative, it might not be enough to create a significant economic or social impact, or even jumpstart the journey to lasting success. I also keep in mind the fact that businesses have a failure rate of 70 percent after 10 years, and it’s often due to investing in the wrong idea. Apart from all the wasted costs and opportunities, there’s also the fact that failed businesses also cause the loss of livelihoods for other people.

It’s a moment of pure bliss, having that “eureka!” moment and thinking of a possible business venture with lots of potentials. What’s left to do is to determine whether or not you should actually pursue the realization of this potential business idea. 

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself before going forward with your idea:

Are you offering a unique solution to a problem?

Facebook was created during the time when social media platforms such as LiveJournal and Friendster were in the height of their popularity. However, it ended up surpassing the success of its predecessors simply because it learned how to distinguish itself from the other platforms and learned from their mistakes.

Businesses that offer a solution to a problem almost always gain success, and it helps if you can describe it as simple and as unambiguous as possible. Ideally, your solution is something that your target customers must have, as you offer something that can address a critical pain point. 

Uniqueness is another facet that you must also consider. If you’re playing on a crowded market, initial research might reveal a number of other entrepreneurs and businesses having the same potential business idea. What you’ll need to establish is how your idea can truly add value to your chosen industry.

You can say that Friendster pioneered what social networking is today. But it simply did not catch up with what its competitors had in its sleeves. For the case of Facebook, it simply understood its target market and users more while Friendster was, well, sticking to what they started out to be without listening to the feedback of its users.

Do you have a sizable niche market for your solution?

A viable and potential business idea can only get off the ground if you can determine the existence of a sizable niche market for your solution. Otherwise, you’re basically selling to a handful of people, therefore decreasing your chances of achieving success. 

How do you know if a niche market is of enough size? Experts say that this is determined by a mixture of research, personal preference, and gut instinct. Your solution might even be better than you’ve imagined if it improves upon existing products or solutions in the market.

Have you shared or tested it with others?

This will be the thing that can either make or break your potential business idea. Test how your idea might be received by the general public by conducting online or physical surveys to at least a hundred people. Gaining initial feedback from prospective users (and not just from your family and friends) can provide insights on whether your idea can actually stick with consumers or not.

Why test your potential business idea?

In an overcrowded market filled with literally thousands of competitors, you couldn’t afford to test your business idea first before venturing into the open. Some ideas might seem great on paper, but these might end up being ignored by your target market. Don’t despair if your idea isn’t viable at the moment: keep in mind that ideas can always be repurposed and improve. Soon, your improved idea might be the starting point of a successful venture.

It’s all systems go once you’ve established the viability of your idea, so try not to stifle the upward momentum of your soon-to-rise business. Hiring a couple of helping hands will come sooner than later, so make sure to get the right professionals through assessment platforms like Kandio.

From one entrepreneur to another, I wish you all the best in your venture and I hope to see you around someday! Now go and bring that potential business idea to life!

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