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Evaluating a Business Idea

Let's face it, not every idea is a good idea. There are so many ideas out there that have sounded good to the businessman at first but we later realize that it wasn't such a great idea. Here are a number of questions to ask yourself in order to save yourself time and money...and avoid embarrassment.

Would you buy it with your own money?

Honestly, if you had the money, would you buy whatever you're trying to sell? Be sure to be honest about this because if you wouldn't buy it, you shouldn't sell it. It's important to have confidence in what you are trying to sell to others. Besides, if you aren't willing to buy your own product, chances are that nobody else will.How much competition is out there?Are you trying to enter a market that already has a lot of competing businesses? If you are, you should consider doing one of the two following things.

1.) Start over and think up a new idea2.) Find an "edge" you can have over your competitionIf you choose the second one, you'll need to be creative. After all, you'll be vying for the same customers as the other companies so you'll need to find a way to make your product/service stand out. You can do this by comparing all of the similar products and asking yourself "what do these lack and how can I improve on it?"Can I make money from this?Lots of entrepreneurs think up a great idea but fail to think whether or not they will be able to earn a profit from it. You'll need to decide how much your product/service will cost to produce and then decide what you think the public would be willing to pay for it. If the price you sell it for is more than what you plan to pay to produce it, continue on with the rest of this section. If not, start all over again.Ask for someone else's opinionFind someone you can trust to give his or her honest opinion and ask them what they think of the idea. You can ask your friends and parents but they will likely just say what you want to hear because they want to encourage you. What you need to do is find someone who will be completely honest. Try asking a stranger (if they are willing and don't think it's too weird). This will help you get an idea of what the general public will think of it. If they don't like the idea, ask them what you might be able to do to improve it.These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself. Be sure to actually do this step and don't just skip it over. You may come back to regret it later on when you realized you overlooked something simple.

 

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