A Checklist Before You Turn An Idea Into A New Business

We’re living in an era of start-ups. Every other person is looking to start a new business and become an entrepreneur. But more than 80% of businesses fail to survive the first 18 months. Nobody knows if your business will work or not; there is no formula or method which can help you find out whether your idea has the potential to be a great business or not.

However, there are certain factors that you need to check on before you invest your time, money, and energy into your idea. I’ve met many entrepreneurs and have also provided my services to various start-ups. Throughout, I’ve observed a lot of common things in every start-up. Here are the details of my observations and the necessary things you should keep in mind before starting a new venture.

1. Timing

Out of many factors, including idea, funding, and team, Timing is the most important factor that you need to check. I’ve seen great ideas fail only because they started before time or they were too late. It’s the Timing that decides your company’s future. YouTube was not the first video-sharing platform. There were a few before that as well, but due to bad broadband penetration in the world and other technical gaps, they failed. But in 2003, Adobe Flash solved the codec problem in internet browsers. When YouTube started in 2005, broadband penetration also increased, and as a result, YouTube became a huge success. You should always check if it’s the right time for your start-up or not.

2. Are you different?

 If your idea is not different from others, the chances of it succeeding are extremely low. Many social media platforms came after Facebook, but only a few got successful. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn saw success because they were quite different from Facebook. The platforms, same as Facebook, failed to leave any mark because people had no reason to switch when they were already comfortable with Facebook. If your idea is fresh, your growth becomes vertical, and if you are aping someone’s idea, then you either fail or grow horizontally.

3. Demand of your product/service

I’ve had meetings with so many people. They share their idea, and they tell me we will spend a lot of money on our product’s branding and promotion. I often frankly tell them, “I don’t think people really want your product”. A lot of times, you think that your idea is a solution to a very common problem, but it also could be the solution to only your problem. Instead of just going ahead, I suggest that you do a survey with different types of people without sharing your opinions and find out if your idea actually serves as a solution to people’s problems.

4. Business model

There is a common myth that if you have a lot of visitors or downloads, you will earn a lot of money, but the reality is something else. In the first phase, you might get successful in achieving some numbers, but what after that? You have to plan out your business model and know how you will earn money from the people or if they will pay you when the time comes. No business runs without making money, and you should work on that aspect from day one.

5. Funding

In my opinion, this is the least important thing for any business. If you can’t run the first phase of your business without investors, then I would suggest that you should not carry the business forward. If your idea is good enough, it will attract money automatically. I’ve started a new venture, and within the first 5 months, I’ve got more than 5 offers to invest money in it. However, I understand that this is not the best time to take funding for my business. You should avoid taking funds as much as possible. If you take funds at an early stage, you will have to give a larger share of your venture to these investors, and that can create a big problem in the future.

6. Promotion Strategy

9 out of 10 start-ups never plan their marketing strategy. They think when they’ll launch their product; people will go crazy buying it. But the reality is totally different. What we have today is an over-communicated market. People don’t have time for your product. You have to come up with ideas to grab their attention, and for that, you need a good marketing strategy and proper execution. Creating a great product and not marketing it is like winking in the dark; it’s only you who know about it.

A good idea at a perfect time, with a great team and proper execution, will become a big, profitable business. So work hard on it and create an awesome company.

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