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Posted 01/24/2020

Four Ways to Know If Your Business Ideas Are Worth Pursuing

Four Ways to Know If Your Business Ideas Are Worth Pursuing

You have an idea for a business, and it's a good one. You're fairly certain this idea will change the game, or at least help a lot of people. It's not long, however, before the doubt sets in. Is this really a good idea? Will people just think this is stupid?

Whenever people start businesses, it's easy for them to doubt and second-guess themselves. You are your own worst critic, and it can be hard to cut through the noise. Here are some ways to better understand if your business ideas are actually worth pursuing.

You'll Make Sacrifices

For your business to succeed, it's going to take blood, sweat and tears. Whether you're launching a mutual fund company or manufacturing some fun socks, no business is easy at first. You'll likely have to invest a decent amount of money to get your idea off the ground. Even once you've made that investment, you'll be investing even more time getting things together and making your business work. 

If making sacrifices for your idea seems like second nature, that's a good sign that this is an idea worth going for. If, however, you feel hesitant to put that much time, money and effort into something, maybe you should take it back to the drawing board. Starting a business is risky, and you want to make sure your enthusiasm and passion outweigh the risk you'll be taking.

Others "Get It"

You won't be creating a business just for yourself. To have a successful business idea, you need to create something that can and will be embraced by the community. Anyone can make coffee mugs or hot sauce: what's different about your company? What's different about your culture? If you can create something that people will latch onto not just because it gives them something they need, but also because they relate to the culture or the message, then you know you have a viable idea.

There's a Need

Plenty of businesses have worthwhile ideas but fail because the world doesn't need that idea right now. Is your business idea timely? You don't want to offer something that was more necessary in the past, nor do you want to be so forward thinking that you are taking care of problems that don't exist yet. The best business ideas are ones that solve immediate problems. 

Look around you. What are points of friction in the world right now? If your business addresses one of those, it's probably an idea worth continuing to pursue.

You Can Compete

You might have a bombshell idea that addresses a real social need and that you're willing to give everything for. Unfortunately, if 20 other entrepreneurs have had the same idea they're willing to make sacrifices for, it may be an uphill climb for you. Entering a saturated marketplace as a newcomer is challenging, and you may be fighting against established competitors that have already solved problems you don't even know you'll have yet. 

Even if your market is fairly empty right now, there's a chance your idea will be so good that it will spark competitors and copycats. Are you ready to fight them? If your idea and your model are competitive and ready to weather challenges from existing and potential competitors, your idea is probably worth pursuing.

Starting a business can be hard. Even if you feel like you have the best idea in the world, it can be good to think and double-check what you're doing to make sure you're doing the right thing. If you have doubts, taking the time to understand your strengths and weaknesses can help dispel them and clarify how good your idea really is. Doing the research, putting in the work and thinking critically are important steps to making sure your business idea is viable and worthwhile. Once you know you have a good idea, the only thing left is to put it into action!

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