Every entrepreneur faces the challenge of validating their ideas. We all have ideas, but not all ideas translate into a great business opportunity, thus not all ideas should see the light of day. The question then is: how do we know which idea is a potential business opportunity? How do we know which business ideas are scalable and can attract an investor? How do you know when you have hit a jackpot?
Research has taught me that there are four fundamental anchors of superior business opportunities. These are four factors that when adequately considered, and thought through, are a solid foundation on which a business can stand.
Solves a Significant Problem
The ideas that turn out to be blockbusters are usually the ones that solve a significant problem or fulfils a need. So the first question you need to ask yourself is ‘does my idea fulfil a need? Does it solve a problem?’
Clearly identify what problem your idea solves and gauge the feasibility of people adapting to the idea or buying the solution at that time. Keep in mind that, quite frequently, people do not know what they need and sometimes do not know a problem exists until the solution arrives and then voila; it makes sense! A good example is Uber, Jumia Foods etc.
Creates or Adds Significant Value
The keyword here is significant. People just don’t buy solutions, they buy value. That is why two companies will offer the same service, but the USP’s of one will attract more customers. So, for your business idea, how valuable is your solution? What differentiates you from others? How tangible & visible is the value you are offering? Will people consider buying from you an expense or an investment? Will your product or service be worth it at the end? After identifying the significant need or problem your idea is addressing, go on to address your value offering.
Possesses a Robust Market
The most successful businesses have a large addressable market. They have not just solutions or products but also, real humans that will pay actual money to have what they are offering. If you have an amazing idea but nobody to buy it, do you have a business? No!A business is only as good as it’s customers. Sometimes, your idea might be fit for niche market other times, it will be a larger market, the important factor is you have a market. Also, it is important to have a revenue model. In the simplest terms, a revenue model is how you intend to make money. It is the strategy behind your making profits.
A Good Fit with the Founder(s) at the time, Location and Marketplace
They are some ideas that you will have in 2018 that will not work in Nigeria till 2020, while some ideas will work in Lagos and will not work yet in Delta State. So also, not every business opportunity is right for every person. We all have different personalities and affects our decision-making processes and how we run businesses, therefore a superior business opportunity is one that is a great fit for your personality, location and the timing.
No two businesses are exactly the same, even if the ideas are same, they will always be fundamental differences. Regardless, of the competition or the industry, if you get it right on the aforementioned four fundamental levels, then you will have positioned your business/brand for success.
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