Friday, 10 August 2012

Going for gold

What fantastic success from Team GB!  If there’s one thing we can learn from the Olympics it’s got to be the concept of commitment.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been struck by the lengths that athletes go to in order to achieve their goals.  There are no half measures!

I guess business is much the same.  If you’re committed to your business idea you’ve a much greater chance of success.  But there are important considerations that no amount of commitment can replace.  Sadly, for every business that succeeds there are many others that don’t.  ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time’ is on many a business tombstone.  Here’s my checklist for evaluating your business idea.  It’s not definitive and I’m sure you’ve got other thoughts, so let me know!

-           What’s different?
           You have to compete on something, be that price, quality, delivery mechanism, etc., etc.  It’s hard to find an original idea but it needn’t be hard to out-do your competitors.

-           Is there a market?
            What seems like a really cool idea to you might not have the same appeal to everyone.  Before you start selling hand knitted cat cardigans make sure there are lots of pet owners out there clamouring to buy them!! 

-           Where are your customers and how you will reach them?
            Amazing though it sounds, many people just launch into a business without doing any research.  You might get lucky, but you probably won’t!

-           What price will you charge?
            If people can get the same elsewhere for less, they will.  If your price doesn’t cover your costs and leave a profit margin, you’ll fail.  ‘Simples’ as the meerkats would say!

-           How will you grow?
            If you are a one man (or one woman) band that’s fine, but you’ll soon reach a ceiling beyond which you can’t take on any more work.  Is that your plan, or are you aiming to be the next Richard Branson?  Knowing if you are going to grow and if so, how, should be something you consider at the outset.

-           Where are your knee pads and helmet?
            In other words, how will you protect your idea?  Your intellectual property is often the most valuable business asset you have.  Ask how easy it is for others to steal your idea and get legal advice on how to protect it. 

-           And finally….do you have the commitment of an Olympic athlete?
            Starting a business is hard work.  It will have more lows than highs, especially in the early days, and there will be times when you wonder whatever possessed you to be your own boss.  Do you have the attitude, skills and, most importantly, the commitment to make it work?

1 comment:

  1. Where can I order a cat cardigan once prototyping is over?