As an entrepreneurial person, you probably have no shortage of business ideas. It’s not difficult to come up with potentially great business opportunities. But, starting a business is challenging and takes significant energy. If you try to develop multiple ideas at once, you might find yourself stretched thin and struggling to create a thriving business. This week, we’re looking at what you should ask yourself when choosing an idea to focus on.
Does this idea align with what you value?
It’s helpful to visualize how your business ideas could impact your life. In our entrepreneurship programs, we use a simple coaching tool called the Wheel of Life to help entrepreneurs identify the areas of their life that are most important to them, assess how they feel about the time and energy they are currently devoting to each area, and determine if anything needs to change for them to lead an integrated life. You can also use this tool to assess how your business idea might impact the areas of your life that are important to you and whether it could support the life you want to lead.
Is this something you are passionate about doing?
Ask yourself if you really are called to this idea. Is this an idea you can’t not explore? What makes you passionate about this idea? And if this idea is feasible, how do you feel about the prospect of committing a significant amount of your time over the first few years to create a business out of it? When you are truly passionate about an idea, you will be more enthusiastic about going through the processes of testing the idea, planning for growth, and operating your business.
Does this idea meet a real need?
Your perception of the need for this business idea is shaped by your own needs, the experiences you have, and the stories you’ve told yourself about them. As a result, you may bring in your own assumptions, biases, and blind spots about your customers; the needs they have; and potential solutions to meet those needs. In order to make sure your idea meets a need, we recommend spending time researching your market by talking with potential customers and observing their behaviors.
Do you have the experience to implement this idea?
Starting a business is a significant challenge on its own. You don’t want to have learn an entirely new industry or gain a bunch of new skills while figuring out how to build a business. You have a greater chance of pulling off the business idea the more you can leverage your background, knowledge, talent, skills, experiences, and network.