Updated: October 16, 2022
It’s always nice to brainstorm business ideas once in a while.
And if only there was a way to instantly turn those money-making ideas into reality, I bet everyone would become entrepreneurs.
However, that’s not the case in real life – not only does it take time, effort, and money to build a business; but there are also as many bad business ideas as good ones out there.
So in today’s world where ideas are cheap, funds are limited, and time is a luxury, how do you determine if an idea is actually worth pursuing?
The short answer is there’s no easy way, but of course, there are some things we can do to immediately sort out which ones are potentially good and which ones are just plain bad. So how do you do that?
The reason why some people say that ideas are cheap is that anyone with enough creativity can think of ways to make money today. A few hours is usually all it takes to come up with possibly good business ideas, even shorter if you’re among friends who could brainstorm with you.
I did this recently with some friends and here’s what we thought would be good businesses to put up today:
- A store for affordable gadgets and accessories, a business like CDR King.
- A boutique that will focus on cycling – we predict that this would replace running as a sports hobby in the next couple of years.
- A photocopying center built for franchising.
To test which one of these three will be the best business idea for us to pursue, we took into consideration three factors:
The first test to see if an idea is good or bad is to see if it will be profitable. Ask yourself who your target market is and what value can your business offer them.
The gadget store will take a bite out of the profitable market currently monopolized by CDR King. The sports boutique hunches on an emerging trend, while the photocopying center is a traditional business venture that we think has good potential to succeed under franchising.
Of the three, the cycling boutique seems to be the weakest because its profitability is based on an assumption. But given actual market research, it can be determined if this business idea has real profit potential in the future.
The second test to know if your business idea is good or bad is to ask yourself if you have the skills and resources to actually implement it.
The gadget store and the sports boutique will require us to have contacts of suppliers from abroad, thus the need to know all about “importing” above other things. And this is something we have no prior experience in.
In the meantime, for the photocopying center – importing machines will not be a necessity because there are numerous local distributors for it and all we needed is to forge a partnership with them.
From the three, it seems that the last one is the easiest one to implement for us. However, if we can take the time to learn all about the processes involved in importing products to the country, then the other two would become more plausible for us to do.
Lastly, the final test to know if your idea is a go or not is to calculate the cost of implementation. In short, can you afford it?
Importing would mean buying your initial inventory in bulk containers and that can cost millions. The first two options therefore would require a large business capital.
On the other hand, while it can also be expensive, hiring a business consultancy firm to build the franchise model would most likely cost less.
Additionally, putting up a photocopying center near a school or business area is comparatively cheaper than opening a mall business which the first two ideas would essentially need to reach our target market.
Again, the third idea is the best choice in this criterion. However, do remember that one cannot truly know the cost of pursuing a business venture unless one has written a business plan.
If your money-making idea has passed the profitability and the implementation factors above, then I believe that a thorough cost analysis is something you should seriously consider doing.
In a nutshell, I believe that all money-making ideas have the potential for success, especially when done by people who have the essential skills and the right resources.
And when circumstances come that we have to choose among several business ideas – looking at profitability, implementation, and cost would certainly be a fast and easy way to determine which one has the best potential.
Lastly, and most importantly, realize that as you are sitting there, wondering if your business idea will be good or not – somebody, somewhere out there could be thinking the same thing. So it’s always better to immediately follow through with action once you find a good opportunity.
Remember, even the best ideas are worthless without proper action. Dreams can become reality only when you do something and work for it.
Author’s note: This article was written in 2010. At present, numerous affordable gadget stores have opened, CDR-King has waned in popularity, several specialty stores for cycling have appeared, and a photocopying service business franchise still doesn’t exist (as far as I know).
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