By Neha Gupta
If you are reading this article, then I assume you have already quit your job or are on the verge of quitting in order to start your own entrepreneurial journey. The problem is, you haven’t even convinced yourself yet whether your business idea will succeed, let alone others.
I understand. I have been through that phase, the fear of failing, of going broke, of disappointing your loved ones, or worse, not living up to your own expectations. It’s simply too much for anyone at the beginning of his/her journey.
But then, you have this itch that won’t go away no matter what you do, that never-ending, burning itch always prompting you to work on that unique idea of yours so you can launch your own business one day. You might have also started playing out imaginary scenarios in your head about your success as an entrepreneur.
OK, it’s time to wake up. The truth is, most first-timers while starting out don’t have a single clue about what they would do, how to make a living out of it or if they have a plan of action or any kind of plan for that matter. So, even if yours is a brilliant idea and you’re super passionate about it, its still worth taking time to test your business idea before starting out.
Measure the Demand
I have provided below a list of questions to ask yourself before starting out to test that big business idea of yours:
- Is there already an established market for your product/service?
- How much will the consumers be willing to pay for it?
- What is the target market size of your product/service?
- What makes your product/service different from your competitors?
And many such questions… (I mean, you get the idea, right?)
This market research, in turn, will give you a clear perspective regarding your would-be position in the market and how much can you change your strategy without affecting your central business idea in order to make a decent profit out of it.
Use an Old School Approach
Do you know how businesses before the Internet era did their market research? By going door to door or setting up a booth during the block party, i.e. getting out physically into their communities and talk directly to people about their researches.
So, if your business idea revolves around opening up a storefront or restaurant in the local area, implementing this old school approach will do you loads of good. By talking directly to the locals, you won’t only understand their needs, but also get a chance to ingratiate yourself with the community.
Figure Out How to Meet Financial Expectations
Your business won’t be considered as an establishment unless you find means to fund it. One way of doing it is to start your business from home if you have little to start up with or from an online front, either of which is a great way to test your business idea and see the market response before putting in a large chunk of money.
Moreover, at a certain point in time, you will need more funds to sustain and grow your business. Though you can get it through loans or grants from government-backed institutions, you will need a solid business plan for that. Just make sure to sort out these things early on in order to stay afloat until your business starts making money.
Plan a Marketing Strategy
As long as people are willing to use your products or services, you have the power to monetize your ideas. The key here is to use clever marketing strategy to know your customers and the ways to get your products on their radars.
But you cannot do all this on your own. So, it’s better to hire the services of a marketing professional right from the start. S/he will not only help reduce your business risks along with overhead expenses but also work wonders when it comes to understanding your business demands regarding promotion and advertising.
OK, so here it is. My few simple but oh-so-important ways to test the validity of your business ideas. So, if you really have such a book of business ideas hiding somewhere, then it’s time to take a page out and give one of those ideas a try.
And remember, if you can successfully execute all the above-mentioned procedures, then, my friend, there is simply no stopping you.