10 Apr Get Your Body Butter and Toothbrush Rentals Here! What could Possibly Go Wrong?
Strangely, no one is lining up outside the body butter and toothbrush rental stand. How odd? Who would have guessed such an idea wouldn’t take off? After all, you have a huge selection. So, there are plenty of choices. Yet, no one is interested. Something’s amiss here and you can’t quite put your finger on it.
Even Good Business Ideas are Not Guaranteed Winning Strategies
Okay, so the headline says it all. It’s a totally ridiculous business model. There’s not a person near or far interested in renting body butter or a toothbrush. Yet, people do come up with some strange concepts to sell and are surprised when they don’t pan out.
You’ve created something unheard of. You’re passionate about it. You believe in it. You’ve also spent an insane amount of time figuring the whole business out down to the tiniest detail. By now, you can talk about it for hours — and to top it off, it actually is a great idea. But for some reason, you can’t sell it. So, what’s the problem?
On the flip side, there’s no guarantee a really good idea will widely succeed. Even the best concepts run into problems. In other words, solid products and services aren’t immune from the realities of the marketplace. Put another way, there is no straight path from unknown to sensation.
How to Test a Business Idea
So, how do you know if a business idea is worth pursuing in the first place? How can you determine if it’s something which has a real chance of making it in the free market? Try these suggestions to establish a baseline:
- Look for successful competition. Everyone wants to believe their idea is “new.” But, that’s usually not the case. In-part or whole, it’s likely been done before. So, look for examples and see how they fared.
- Test different versions several times. There’s no such thing as perfect. Meaning, your business idea isn’t without some sort of flaw. Even if you’re really confident in what you’ll offer, it could perform better or worse, depending on a few tweaks. Offer a variety and see which works.
- Explore the industry to gain an understanding. It’s certainly true good ideas are boxed out of the marketplace because they aren’t allowed. Perhaps it’s too heavily regulated or there are just too many obstacles to make it feasible.
- Think about how it can scale and adapt over time. If the business can’t scale up to meet demand, that’s a big, red flag. And, if it’s not able to evolve with the changing times, that too, is a big obstacle.
A key premise behind the idea of MVP is that you produce an actual product (which may be no more than a landing page, or a service with an appearance of automation, but which is fully manual behind the scenes) that you can offer to customers and observe their actual behavior with the product or service. Seeing what people actually do with respect to a product is much more reliable than asking people what they would do.
If the business can’t scale up to meet demand, that’s a big, red flag. And, if it’s not able to evolve with the changing times, that too, is a big obstacle.
How do you test a business idea to ensure it’s a viable one? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!
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