It always seems to catch us off-guard. You are standing in a shower or watching Friends when all of a sudden “Bam!” and you get a stroke of a business idea! But how are you supposed to know if it’s a good one? Will anyone really want this? Is this something you can turn into a long-term business?
Having coached several women plan, build, and scale their business endeavors, and having owned three different online businesses myself, here is my checklist to testing a business idea before you put any time or money into it.
1. People seek your advice on it
When I first started business coaching, I didn’t know what it was called. I just knew a lot of people came to me for advice on starting a business, and I would help them. It wasn’t until a year later that I recognized this was an opportunity. Do you find a lot of people asking for your advice in this field? That’s not only a good sign your idea is great, but also that people ALREADY see you as an expert in that field!
2. It excites you
This idea is going to blossom into a full-blown business that will take a lot of your time. Is this something you are passionate about? Can you see yourself dedicating at least several hours per day to building this into your livelihood? Are you excited about this being your long-term business? Does this idea excite you, or are you just excited about the potential sales you could get? If it’s the latter, look for a different idea, because you will get bored and burnt out quick if you aren’t excited by this.
3. You can see it evolving
Can you scale this idea into a business? Can you branch this out to serve more people, and evolve this into a brand (which is really what solidifies your longevity as a business owner)? If you can’t see how this idea can grow beyond the preliminary stages, then it sounds more like a side hustle or one-off project, as opposed to a full-blown business idea!
4. You see people asking for it
While people may not come to you specifically about this, have you noticed a generally rising interest in a specific solution that you can offer? Is there a big enough demand for it that can sustain your business? Take a look at the ideal audience your idea would be serving, and see if it is big enough for your offer. Pro tip: Poll your audience in places they hang out and see if they are interested in your idea to garner both validation and interest. A great example and place to start would be in relevant Facebook Groups. I built my audience by asking and answering questions in Facebook groups I knew my ideal audience hung out, and not only was able to validate my business idea but also was able to gather a few clients!
5. You have an idea on how to market it
Sometimes, we have amazing ideas that we have ZERO understanding of how to promote. If you can’t see a way to market it to your audience (too niche, doesn’t fit into any category, unable to monetize it), then it would be best for you to move on.
At the end of the day, you need to try your idea out to know if you have a good one. Success is no longer exclusive to those with just “an original idea”. Success only belongs to those with enough courage to pursue it.
Will that be you?
Written by our contributor Elisabeth Jackson, Money Mindset&Business Mentor at The Afro Coach. You can follow Elisabeth on Facebook and Instagram. Become our contributor too! Apply here.
Check out Elisabeth’s advice on Top 5 Selling Mistakes To Avoid In 2019.