You compulsively view the world in terms of opportunity, and you can name a dozen business ideas for products and services that fulfill a need that isn’t being met. And you think you’ve got the charisma and determination to build a talented team that can turn one of your ideas into reality.
Good for you! Positive change in any field begins with a dream. But keep in mind that most people think they’ve got the next million dollar idea, and even the most brilliant eureka moment won’t amount to a hill of beans if it can’t be executed in a way that makes, well, millions of dollars.
The key difference between a would-be business owner with a notebook full of unrealized ideas and an entrepreneur is an exhaustive business model. A sound business, after all, thrives at the mercy of its target consumers. And so even if you produce and sell the best performing, longest lasting, most cost-effective octagon-shaped pie pans in the world, if pie pan purchasers don’t know or care about or buy your pie pan, you’re sunk.
So how can you transform your idea into a sustainable business? Ask the right questions. Examine your motives and then run your idea through a gauntlet of practical questions to see whether it could really turn a profit.
The Step Zero Viability Checklist:
1. What problem are you solving and how big is this problem?
2. What’s your solution? What makes your solution the best?
3. How will you make money, and how much will you make?
4. How will you market your product or service?
5. Who are your competitors? What makes you better?
6. Do you have the proper team to pull this off?
7. Do you have the right mentors for the right areas of your business?
8. How much money do you need before you can start turning a profit?
Consider this a template for your first pitching presentations. Because any investor, supporter, and partner you’d want to have on board will ask these questions before they invest a dime or time into your new venture.
If you have questions, look to see who can mentor you. Who has been through the journey you’re about to start? How can you leverage their passion to grow your idea? Mentors have been in your shoes, and your entrepreneurial drive will motivate them to help you now build up your answers to the questions they answered years before.
Don’t forget to have fun, and make sure to launch a business in an industry you’re knowledgeable about and interested in. If you do, your work will be a pleasure, and if you don’t, you’ll wish you had. If you don’t like pie, for example, you probably shouldn’t make weirdly shaped pie pans.
This article was contributed by the folks at MentorMob (profiled here).