Six Questions To Ask Yourself Before Pursuing A Business Idea

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Business on February 26, 2011

It can happen unexpectedly – while taking a shower, while running on the treadmill, while driving around the city, and even while sleeping.

Everyday, as we do our daily routine, it can hit us and *BAM!*

A big business idea!

When this happens, what do you do?

Me, I’d usually talk about it with my friends and see how’d they react. If things seem positive, then I’d go on and ask myself six questions.

Six questions which become my preliminary test that will determine if I should do the next step.

And I hope that these can likewise help you whenever those “strokes of genius” come to you unexpectedly.

Will I be happy doing this business even if it’s just making breakeven?
Why would you consider doing a business that’s not making profit? Because it’s your interest – your passion – and it makes you happy even without the monetary gains. Pursuing a business idea and going through the process of making it a reality can be a long and tedious process. If you’re in it just for the money, then you might not last long.

Who is the target market?
Successful businesses provide value to their customers; and the reason why they are able to achieve this is because they know exactly who their business serves. Ask yourself who will buy your product, who will avail your services? How big is that market and how well do you know them? Based on their habits, beliefs and lifestyle, will they find value in what your business offers?


How big can this business potentially get?
As an employee, you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a dead end job that offers no career advancement. It’s the same for business – you wouldn’t want to pursue an idea which is an end to itself. The best business ideas are those which you can grow and scale up. While almost all businesses can do this, it’s important that as early as this stage, you can already visualize the various directions where you can take it in the future.

Who are and who will be my competitors?
Even if you think your business idea is unique and pioneering, it will still experience competition from other existing businesses. At the very least, consider that you are trying to “get money” from a market who might think it’s better to spend their cash on other things. Moreover, imagine how you would keep your competitive edge when others start imitating your business. That’s a hard reality that you must be prepared for.

Do I have the skills and resources to really make this happen?
I believe that a vending machine that dispenses home cooked quality meals in an instant is a great business idea. But do I have the knowledge and skills to “invent” this? Do I know people who can help me make this a reality? Am I willing to give the time and effort to research and learn this technology, as well as look for the right people I can work with in pursuing this business idea? My answers are all NO – and that’s enough reason for me to move on.

Is NOW really the best time to do this?
I think the best time to start a business is always today – but you still need the “right” business idea that answers a current need if you want to succeed. For example, if the economy is experiencing a recession – then putting up a high fashion clothing boutique might not be the best idea to do now. However, it might be in a few years when people are starting to again spend on luxuries.

It’s always exhilarating to stumble upon a business idea. And even if in the end, it turns out that it’s not worth pursuing – then just give yourself credit for being able to actually see potential where others might have not.

And based from personal experience, whenever we allow ourselves to be occupied in evaluating these business ideas that come to us randomly each day – it won’t be long before the right business idea will come to us at exactly the right time.

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Photo credit: B Rosen and martymadrid


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9 Responses to “Six Questions To Ask Yourself Before Pursuing A Business Idea”

  1. Mike says:

    Hi sir, my partner and I are planning to open a business (we’re still brainstorming ideas) 1-3 years from now. Right now, we both have stable jobs in the corporate world. We don’t have a capital yet. What we plan to do is get a salary loan up to 100K pesos and put it in a time deposit to earn interest while we’re still preparing for that big idea to come. The salary loan is payable for one year without interest. Do you think it’s “sane” to get that loan? Thanks!

  2. Mighty says:

    Thanks for this post Fitz. I’m planning to register my business name by the 2nd week of March and this set of questions helped me refine my thoughts and ideas on how to go about my business. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Fitz says:

    Yes that’s sane and congratulations on learning how to leverage credit

    Glad I could help, all the best in your planned business.

  4. desertman says:


    Prima facie, of course it’s a very “sane” decision. And putting it in a time deposit adds up more flavour to it. 100K placed in 1.5% TD in a year would give you P1,200 interest earned net of tax right?

    But I guess it would all depend on how you would look at it. To be honest, i am not a big fan of credits and loans. For me, it only serves as a breather and in effect makes us more complacent whenever we are aiming for something of monetary value, which is a very dreadful habit. If you and your partner can repay that loan in a year time, why not sit down together and start building your joint business venture now by planning your target capital (let’s say 240K in 2 years) and then coming up with your strategy on how you would squeeze your monthly income in order to reach that target? And in doing so, you would gain more benefits like, proper budgeting, wise financial management, and teamwork since you are both committed on a monthly basis to contribute to your set up fund. And those times when you see your fund grow each day and then reaches your target amount are very rewarding indeed. Besides, we can all agree that it takes a lot of discipline for you to set aside a portion of your income as savings than letting someone else (like salary deduction)do it for you right?

    At the end of the day, you and your partner would be more appreciative, prepared, disciplined and committed to your desired goal. Believe me, it’s all worth more that the P1,200 interest a TD would earn. Just my two cent ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mike says:


    Thanks for your two-cent piece of advice. It got me thinking, maybe you’re right…that a feeling of security over a TD could lead to complacency. It’s actually my personal tendency when I know I’ve set aside some amount as savings, though I could still keep a little more without compromising on necessity. Maybe we could raise more capital in a shorter time if we do it ourselves, not relying upon the TD. Thanks, I’ll keep your two cents as a reminder. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. desertman says:

    @ Mike

    You’re welcome bro. Wish you goodluck.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Abisoft says:


    It will help to assure that you and your partner has the “chemistry” when it comes to running the business. Even you had your capital and a business idea, engaging a business with a partner is a little bit complicated than running the business alone. Ask a lot of “what if”s.

    Thanks for the post Sir Fitz ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Tim Canilao says:


    Would like to know your opinion about franchising. My friends and I have pooled enough funds to purchase a franchise, but we would like an entrepreneur’s opinion. Thanks, hope to hear from you.


  9. Fitz says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, very well said! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I likewise wish you all the best in your business endeavor ๐Ÿ™‚

    Buying a franchise is certainly a viable option if you want to venture into business. I’ll try to write more on this but for now, I hope these two articles can help you with your concerns.

    Start Your Own or Buy A Franchise, How Do You Decide
    Buying a Franchise Business: How To Know If You’re Ready

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