Are you passionate enough about it?
Your business will likely take up all of your time, so make sure you’re passionate enough about it to make it successful.
“Since starting a business requires an inordinate amount of time, energy and patience, ideally, the idea will be one that you are passionate about, as well as one that you have skills or experience [in],” said Melissa Bradley, executive-in-residence and director of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Kogod School of Business at American University.
Are you open to advice?
If you’re not open to changing or adapting your idea to fit what your customers will want, your business idea might not be worth pursuing.
“Success happens when you are willing to listen and consider others’ advice,” said Angie Yasulitis, CEO and managing partner at YaZo Marketing and Business Development Strategies. “Most good ideas take some tweaking to get to market. Being closed-minded is a business killer.”
How will you market your business?
Many entrepreneurs think about the problems their business will solve but not about how they intend to market their business to their target customers. Jesse Lipson, corporate vice president and general manager at cloud company Citrix Cloud Services, said that your marketing strategy can determine if your business idea is a good one.
“If you have a solid go-to market strategy and a decent product, you’ll probably be successful,” Lipson said. “But if you have a great product without any idea how to reach your potential customers, then it’s going to be really tough to make it successful. Thinking through that as early as possible is really key.”
Is there a sizable niche market for it?
Without a large enough market, your business idea may never get off the ground. Ruben Soto, CEO of shapewear company Hourglass Angel, said your business should cater to a strong niche market.
“Start by focusing on a niche market you know that can be served better,” Soto said. “Make sure the market is large enough and that you can serve those customers better than the alternative. Large companies won’t focus on niche markets, so there is room to compete and exceed customer expectations.”
Have you tested your idea?
You won’t know if your business is viable until you test it on strangers.
“Test it — not just with friends who will be too polite to tell the truth, but with honest people who would make up your ideal target audience, and then listen to the feedback,” said Lisa McCartney, chief “PLYTer” at educational math board game company PLYT. ”
“If your target sample is saying [your idea] is fantastic and [asking] where can they get it, you know that you’re onto something, but if they are less than enthusiastic, it’s probably not as good an idea as you thought.”