How to choose your best idea

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Is your new business idea good enough to succeed? No matter how deeply you’ve fallen in love with your brilliant business idea, you’ve got to see if it can jump through some common-sense hoops.

Ignore this evaluation and assessment step at your peril.

A business opportunity from your idea for a product or service should have the potential to at least double your present income within two to three years.

Start with the customer. Is your idea for a product or service driven by customer need? Unless your business idea satisfies a genuine need among customers, you don’t have a business.

Next up, who are my potential customers and where are they to be found? This means finding out the market potential for your product or service. Check who’s buying similar products or services. What is your customer profile? How many are there in the market? What magazines do they read and what websites do they visit? What is your low, medium and high estimate of your target market?

Find out your potential competition. Visit their website or stores. What products or services are similar to yours? Does yours match or surpass theirs in some respects or all respects? Why would customers prefer yours? Is your competition local, national or international? How do you think competitors will respond when you introduce your product or service?

Checking out your competition can also involve becoming one of their customers. Buy their product or service, ask about their guarantees, after-sales service and even ask their customers, if possible, what they like and don’t like about their purchases.

Pricing your product or service will give you a feel for the sales or revenue potential of your new business idea. Do you price below the competition, match them or price yourself higher? It’s easy to drop your price once you’re in the market but a lot harder to go up later. Your understanding of price will force you to think about your costs. We can always reduce costs but just be careful that you don’t skimp on quality.

These are some of the basic ways of telling if your product or service has the potential to succeed.

It’s important to assess the potential of your new business idea – get stuck into it with the passion you use for all parts of your business life. Just don’t overdo it. Assessment can only take you so far. You’ve still got to go out and test your idea in the market.

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