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How strong is your business idea? Test it now

So you think you have got a bright idea and you are looking into setting up as a self-employed business owner? In that case, you'd better make sure you are sitting on a powerful idea. Properly scrutinise your idea and find out what other people may have already come up with that is in a similar vein to spot the gap in your market.

What are the criteria of a good business idea?

The first step in starting up your own business is to come up with a strong idea. You do not necessarily need to come up with a brand new idea or invention.  You need a clear and properly developed idea to make it better, to find a differentiator.
If you have absolutely no idea of what you would like to do yet, here are some ways to help you create a brilliant idea:

  • Probe the market:
    review all the options. What is already in place, in which respect can this be improved upon or how could you make the difference?
  • Do some brainstorming:
    put your heads together to arrive at a good idea.
  • Surf the Internet:
    take a look at some websites on conceptualisation and upcoming trends.
  • Hone your business acumen:
    nowadays there are plenty of training courses and boot camps on how to start your own business. Be sure to look into this.
  • Do not try and reinvent the wheel:
    There is nothing stopping you from improving an existing idea. Try to find room for improvement and find out if there is a demand for your idea.

Once you get a clear picture of what you want to do, the next smart move is to test your idea and check to see if it is actually feasible as well as viable. It would be unfortunate if you made big investments first, only to find out afterwards that there is no potential for your idea.

Put your idea to the test

So, you are confident that your idea is going to be a hit?  Nevertheless, you need to give your enthusiasm a reality check. Put yourself in the mind of the customer and work out if it is feasible and profitable. Perhaps the market is already saturated? Will customers really be prepared to give up longstanding purchasing habits to switch to your products or services.

This is quite easy to establish: run a survey among the people you know. Run your idea past friends, family, acquaintances and even professional consultants. Their fair judgement will enable you to validate your project and improve on it if necessary.

Start prospecting

A crucial question: will you have customers once you hit the market? Before you start, it's worth engaging in some small-scale prospecting - in your local community, for instance. This will tell you right away if your project is viable. Who knows, you may even persuade a few people to sign up as future patrons in the process. Now that's what's called getting off to a flying start!

Is the market ready for your idea? Click here to discover your personal step-by-step plan towards setting up your own business.