The never-ending road of entrepreneurship is about a constant flow of ideas, rethinking existing methods, and putting them into practice to see a business thrive. If you’ve been on this path for years, you know exactly what it entails. Being an entrepreneur, you’ve already realized that just a few of your many startup ideas are worth a shot.
One of the most challenging parts of being ready to start your startup is knowing which idea will hit the jackpot. When you have a hunch about one, you can’t just dive into things recklessly. You need to do it the smart way. Here’s a checklist to help you evaluate a promising idea to know if it’s worth putting time and effort into it.
1. Get to know your startup competition
First, check out who would be your competitors. They will show you if your idea is worth pursuing. Plus, they will serve as a benchmark for analyzing the market to see if it can handle another business. Knowing your competitors also reveals many essential aspects of your businesses’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
However, if the location or area you’re analyzing doesn’t reveal any competition, you can still learn a lot from a seemingly non-existent answer. In that case, maybe nobody has tried to implement a similar idea, or it’s a project that’s not worth pursuing.
If you want to make sure your business will thrive, you can give customer interviews a try. They will reveal if your service or product is needed or would improve your client’s lives.
2. How useful is your startup product or service?
Ask yourself a couple questions to make sure your business will solve a problem or pain point: Will my idea solve my client’s problems? Will people request my services or buy my products?
After answering these questions, look at whether your target audience spends money and time on alternative services and products. If you see that you can improve the alternative solutions you’ve come across, you’re in an excellent position to see your business succeed.
3. Think of your competitive startup advantage
You need to know if your product or service is something people will abandon their existing solutions for. Even if you feel like you have something that is a must-have for potential clients, it doesn’t necessarily equal success, especially if you’re facing a competitive market.
You need to deliver better benefits in the form of your product or service, than your competitors. This will catch people’s attention and make them want to choose what you offer. And you don’t always need to have better features. Sometimes, it’s enough if you target the right people, picking a segment of the market and an underserved target audience, making sure you fulfill their needs.
4. Location, location, location
One thing that’s common in real estate and entrepreneurship is the importance of location. If you want to see your business thrive, you need to know the best place to set up shop. When it comes to picking out the most suitable city for your startup, you need to analyze certain factors: living and business costs, quality and availability of workforce, taxes, laws, economic climate, and more.
If you carefully analyze the factors mentioned above, you’ll have an easier time making a decision. Once you’ve come to a conclusion, you can hire a moving company, pack your things, and start a new chapter in your life.
5. Timing is everything
Let’s assume you have the best idea, a skilled team, a great business strategy and model, and funding. Well, you will also need to consider the timing of your business. Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, pointed out during one of his TED Talks that 42% of the time when you start your business makes the difference between seeing it get off the ground or fail.
Taking this checklist into consideration will help you know if your startup will succeed.