When faced with a potential business opportunity, a person must first trust their gut instinct. Unfortunately, the gut isn’t 100% all of the time. Sometimes there are other clues — visible or uncovered with some digging — as to whether a business idea will be a surefire hit or die a quick, painful death.
It’s good to be cautious, most people are scared of starting a business because it sucks. But sometimes, if an idea passes all of the sniff tests, it’s a good idea to move. This article from Entrepreneur identifies the 7 ways to spot the real, money-making business opportunities when they come along and how to avoid scams and schemes that will suck your time and money.
A few simple ways to gauge if the idea has any potential marketability is if people are already buying products or services similar to this idea, if the market for such a product or idea is healthy, if the product improves on an earlier iteration of the idea and if the costs to produce or start this business are obvious to everyone involved.
The two factors that are crucial, at least in my estimation, involve the products intended use and a little soul searching.
First clue – does the company or product solve a problem? Entrepreneur explains…
“Successful, scaleable businesses try to solve a problem that consumers face on a daily basis. The more integrated (and seemingly insurmountable) a problem is in your customers’ lives, the more vital your solution quickly becomes.”
For example, this guy was riding a bus and realized people needed a better way to share massive files. He then created DropBox.
Second clue – do you and everyone involved honestly give a crap about the product or is everyone doing this just to make a buck?
“While all of the previously mentioned factors are essential for your business idea to be a success, you won’t get far if you don’t truly love your idea.”
Every successful small-business owner and entrepreneur must have a passion that drives them forward — a core belief that keeps them pressing on, even though others don’t necessarily have the same vision,” wrote Clate Mask, co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft, in a piece for Entrepreneur. “The difference between those who push through difficult times and those who do not is passion.”
A good litmus test to that theory is asking yourself “could I be doing this exact same thing in 10 years?” If you answer yes, go for it. If you answer no, find another idea.