When considering ideas for a new business, it is all too common to brainstorm a hundred different ideas and have a difficult time narrowing your scope. Each one has something to offer, but you cannot decide which one will work the best.
Unfortunately, it is far more common to produce bad ideas than good ones; this isn’t to say that bad ideas cannot be shaped into good ones. But here are a few ways to know if you are working with a less than stellar idea:
1. It does not fulfill a need or solve a problem.
Is it something people will want or need? If your product does not solve a problem or fulfill a need, how will you market it? Think about your product as a solution to a problem, or perhaps even a better solution than something currently on the market. Gadgets and gizmos are great, but will they stand the test of time.
If you can do this, you have a good idea, rather than one that may stagnate quickly. You need a group to market your product, service, or ideas to; if your idea does not hold interest for them, it is likely to fail; which brings up the next point.
2. It is not able to reach large or multiple markets.
If your idea cannot survive in a larger marketplace, it is not likely to be profitable. When you formulate your idea, you should be able to envision it being replicated across multiple markets; if you cannot, it is likely your idea needs some work. This is not to say give up on it, because it could become a better idea.
Often times developing your business model is the hardest part of the process. Just take some time and really flesh out your idea, to insure it is worth your time, effort, and financial investment.
3. Can it withstand free competition?
Many ideas are good, but cannot withstand the competition. For example, if you have a gaming app, and plan to charge for downloading, consider Facebook offers many games for free download. That puts some stiff competition on your idea; it could still work, but the chances become less likely.
Bad ideas fail to consider the competition, or they enter into an already flooded marketplace; good ideas consider this and have a plan to combat it efficiently.
4. It needs time to develop, or is complicated to explain.
Technology can change in the blink of an eye, and if your idea cannot keep up, it may have a difficult time surviving. Apps go viral overnight and if your idea is going to take a while to develop, investors may be less likely to take a chance on you, when compared to someone with an idea that is ready-to-go, or has a shorter projected development period.
Also, if your idea is hard to explain, it will be hard for consumers to understand. This creates another obstacle your idea will need to overcome in order to be successful.
5. You are not excited about it.
Chances are as your business plan develops, it will be revised more than once. Chances are also good more than one person will not like the idea. If you are not passion about it, surviving these stages can be difficult. You need to fervently believe in it, so you can pass that enthusiasm along to other people.
Of course these guidelines are not going to be true for every idea because every idea is unique, but they are a good way to see how your idea is measuring up.