How marketable are your new business ideas?

Share these new ideas
A pair of modern silver pepper grinders with Peugeot mechanism. Hallmarked Asprey & Co Ltd,. Birmingham 1935.
A pair of modern silver pepper grinders with Peugeot mechanism. Hallmarked Asprey & Co Ltd,. Birmingham 1935.

For start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to come up with viable business ideas the first thing is to consider the marketability of your new ideas.

How do you know if your business idea will be attractive enough to get potential customers to buy? What makes one idea more marketable than another? What could you do to increase the chances that your new business idea will sell?

One of the first things to ask yourself is if your business idea solves a real problem for potential customers. So many products and services run aground because they don’t solve people’s problems easily, quickly and cost effectively. The other day I saw an app that lets you customise your own newspaper. Does this really solve a “problem” for online readers who may enjoy a range of publications.

Some bootstrapped start-up founders will set up minimum criteria for validating their idea. They will check with at least 10 or more people to determine if the problem they wish to solve is considered big enough by a large enough group of people. If the feedback isn’t positive or conclusive, it’s back to the drawing board.

Another important question to ask is whether your business idea is different from other similar ideas. If other businesses are already meeting a need in the market you plan to enter, how is your product or service going to compete? Is your product or service cheaper, faster or easier to use? What benefit does it have over other competing products?

Have you done any basic research to validate your idea? I’m not talking about focus groups – people who will tell you that they will buy your product or service but when push comes to shove they buy something else. Focus groups are deceptive. In fact, some marketers refuse to do focus group research. Today entrepreneurs float their concept or a prototype online or on social media networks to test demand.

A business ideas should have a clear value proposition. Potential customers should quickly grasp how the product or service will benefit them. But just as important, your business ideas should be exciting. A pepper grinder made from bamboo is just another pepper grinder in a new material. But if you’re pepper grinder is also solar powered, you may generate more interest.

Deciding whether to go ahead and build a product from an idea or concept is a big step into the reality of a competitive marketplace. It’s risky. About 80% of new products fail. Test your assumptions before you take the leap into production. Only through testing will you know if your idea is marketable.

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