How to recognise potentially good business ideas

One of the biggest challenges that many of us in business have is the sheer number of potentially good business ideas or potentially profit-making concepts that we tend to generate.

Now I say that’s a problem because very few of us have the resources available to have someone else do some digging to work out if the idea is feasible. Just because you might think it’s going to be the next sun-dried tomato concept doesn’t instantly mean that the market is going to open its wallet and let you in.

So let me explain some of my thoughts on how to recognise a potentially good business ideas and maybe it’ll help you.

At the time of writing I’m working on couple of ideas that are likely to lead to profit. One of them I can do on my own and the other I will need help with. And these are just 2 of many business ideas I’ve had lately.

But how have I decided that these two ideas are worth pursuing?

Well I have a little process for checking out whether business ideas might be right for me and also the market. And it starts with just 2 simple questions:

  1. Does the idea keep me awake with excitement?
  2. Have I checked with trusted business buddies about whether there is potential in the market for the idea?

So let’s have a think about the first question: Does the idea excite me?

How to recognise potentially good business ideas
How to recognise potentially good business ideas is a useful skill to develop

Most of the ideas I generate are just that; ideas. They are thoughts for where I might take the business to add profit streams or completely new business concepts that have little to do with what I’m involved with at the minute.

I often write down the ideas to see if they weigh on my mind at all. And if they do then I’ll do a little digging about whether it’s something I could legitimately fit into what’s going on now and within the near future.

But the one thing that goes through my mind at this stage is whether I’m excited about the idea at all. Do I find myself sharing the concept with people? Have I mentally begun to write the business and marketing plan? Does the idea give me a buzz? Does it keep me awake at night?

If I can’t see any of these things happening around an idea then I often dismiss it. And this is because I know from experience that any business idea will need lots of work to make it a success. I’ll need to put time, effort and money into it and if I can’t see myself continuing to be excited about it when things get tough (and they normally do at some point) then I’ll likely lose enthusiasm and this increases the chances of me giving up.

That’s not to say that the idea as a bad idea. I just have to recognise that it’s not necessarily right for me.

The next question is about the market: is there potential in the market?

This is a little more tricky in many ways because sometimes you could be bringing an unknown product or service into the market and will have to create demand for it.

Thankfully most of my business ideas relate to existing markets and could be considered a favourable variation on an existing theme.

These days I tend to look for ideas where the potential market could be huge if tapped in the right way. Not easy, since many people want big markets, but it certainly cuts out trying to get attention in crowded niches.

When I’ve worked out the idea a little I’ll then share the thought with a few trusted business colleagues to get their responses. I belong to a business group that I trust to give me honest feedback (both bad and good) that I can take away and consider.

If the feedback is mostly positive then I can move forward with more detailed feasibility study about the market and how to take the idea into market. Again, I often ask the same group of people.

So, that tells you a little more about how to recognise potentially good business ideas and if you’ve any further thoughts then please share them in the comments box below.

Want more on developing your business? Check out:

Everyone is in sales, whether you realise it or not (article)

Do you really want what you say you want? (YouTube video)

2 thoughts on “How to recognise potentially good business ideas”

  1. Hi Karl,
    Some top tips. To reflect & plan is always better (& less stressful) than procrastinating or exerting precious time & energy on a Dodo that nobody even wants ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Good point Clare, I’ve attempted to launch a few ideas that had no legs at all but were the best thing ever from where I stood. Nowadays I’m far more critical and always ask for feedback ahead of time.

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