There are two major questions to be asked when it comes to considering a start-up: 1. Is this the right time? 2. Is this a lemon?
The answer to the first question is simply: no. It will never be the right time to take a huge risk! But with risk comes reward and waiting for the right time will have you constantly finding reasons not to take the plunge.
The answer to the second question is a bit more complicated. Everyone has one of those 'great ideas', usually followed by a moment of clarity in which said great idea is relegated to the bin.
So how do you go about determining which ideas may stand the test of time and prove to be profitable? There are a few things that can help whittle down the start-up idea pile...
Start with evaluating the levels of passion. Yeah, sounds cheesy! But without passion to carry it through, the idea will inevitably fizzle out. What about this idea has you chomping at the bit? Dig deeper and ask yourself -why this idea?
Before committing to anything, research the market and make sure you are not simply late to the game.
A saturated market does not necessarily mean a product will not stand on its own, but it is a key indicator of an inevitable challenge.
Test, test and re-test. Much like a scientist tests a hypothesis, look at start up ideas as theories that must stand up to realities.
Start by testing the assumption that your target market will shell out bucks for said product or service.
Dip your toes into the pool of support. Do your family, friends and partners support the idea or will you be fighting the status quo every step of the way? Successful businesses are never built on the shoulders of one!
Before a single dollar is spent, craft an intricate business plan. If the idea stands a chance, laying it out on paper will give you a realistic look at what obstacles to expect.
Build clientele and customer base before investing in the actual service or product. This may be the easiest way to gauge whether or not this idea is worthwhile. No bites? Don't bother investing in the bait!
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Be prepared - launching a start-up is like haemorrhaging time. You will never have enough and will always need more. The key here is absolute patience and sheer will.