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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