When you’re trying to think of the perfect business idea, it can be hard to tell whether an idea you have is a good one or a bad one.
Before you start spending large amounts of time and money on starting your business, you should validate your idea to verify that it is viable. Here are some practical questions you can ask yourself to verify whether your business idea is treasure or trash.
Has it ever been done before?
Innovation is great, and if you’re an inventor, creating something that doesn’t exist might be right up your ally. For the most part though, if your business idea is for something that doesn’t currently exist, chances are it’s not a good idea. It’s likely that, unless you’ve invented something new, someone else has tried and failed at your business idea. Don’t be upset if you think your business falls into this bad idea category though. Someone has already wasted their time and money to prove that it’s a bad idea for you.
How much competition would you have?
If there’s a lot of competition or existing businesses that are similar or the same as your idea, it’s likely a good idea. Most people get discouraged when they see a lot of competition, but this just means that there’s a market for that product or service. You just have to figure out how you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition to get some of those customers to buy from you.
Does it solve a problem or fulfill a need?
This is rule numero uno when it comes to verifying that your business idea is viable. It absolutely must solve a problem or fulfill a need. If your business idea doesn’t do either, you don’t have a viable business idea. Your idea is likely trash.
Is there demand for it?
Is your idea something that people are asking for? Do you know that a lot of people talk about it in places like Facebook groups, on Reddit, or on community message boards? If your idea is for something that people are talking about or asking for, your idea might be treasure.
Is it something that people are willing to pay for?
Will people be willing to hand over the cold, hard, cash for your product or service? Can they get it somewhere else for free? If they can get it for free somewhere else, what’s different about your idea that would compel them to pay of it? These are all things you should consider when you evaluate whether people would be willing to pay for your idea for a product or service. If it’s not something people will pay for, you don’t have an idea for a business, you have an idea for a hobby.
Can you identify an audience for it?
If you aren’t quite sure who would benefit from your business idea, you may need to do more research. Before spending a dime on starting your business, make sure that you’ve identified exactly who your target audience is. If you don’t have an audience, you can’t identify their needs, and therefore, your idea might be trash.
Are people searching for it?
A great way to validate your business idea is to see whether people are searching for it online. A useful tool for doing this is a Google Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere. Install it on your Chrome browser, go to Google and search keywords related to your idea. Keywords Everywhere will show you how many searches that keyword gets per month, which allows you to verify whether your idea is something people are looking for.
Can you logically execute a plan for it?
Do you have the money and resources to execute a plan for your business idea? If not, can you get the money and resources? If the answer to both is no, then you may need to hold off on your idea until you have what’s necessary to execute a plan. The other option is to think of something else that is more immediately executable.
Do you feel a sense of urgency when you think about it?
This is more of a personal test of how good you honestly think your business idea is. If you have a great sense of urgency, for your idea, that makes you feel like you need to start like yesterday before someone else starts your dream business, that is probably a sign that you truly believe that you have a great idea. Your business idea might be treasure.
Are you passionate about it?
Finally, evaluate your honest feelings about your business idea. Are you willing to bust your ass to get it started? Do you absolutely love doing what you’ll be doing? Would you do it for free if you had to? Can you see yourself doing it for a long time down the road? If you’re truly passionate about your business idea, it might be treasure.
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and your idea for a business passes muster, kudos. It’s probably safe to say that you have a viable idea that you should pursue.
If your idea doesn’t pass these tests, don’t give up. Just go back to the drawing board and come up with an idea that works. If you need help with coming up with an idea, listen to my podcast episode, How to Come Up With the Perfect Online Business Idea, for a little inspiration.