Is there a way I can determine if a business idea is likely to succeed?
Olayiwola Okene
ANSWER: There is no guarantee that a startup business will succeed.
However, you can reasonably determine if an idea makes business sense
before you proceed to invest the time and resources needed to get it up
and running.
Your first step will be to conduct a feasibility study that will
analyse your idea, using various indices.
Your analysis should cover the market opportunity you seek to explore,
the competition you are likely to face, the available or required
resources, whether the business will be financially viable,
operational issues to be handled, the timeline to move from idea to
market, the technology that the business will use, possible
intellectual property rights, etc.
If your proposed business idea looks profitable, you should follow your
feasibility study with your business plan.
In preparing your business plan, you should interview or survey
potential customers to know their preferences and abilities to purchase
your products or services. You should gather and understand information
about the target customers that your business will be set up to serve.
Your feasibility study and business plan will seek to answer questions
like: Will there be enough customers to buy your products or services?
Will these customers be able to pay prices that will earn your business
enough revenue to cover its expenses, provide a decent return to its
owners, and leave a profit to re-invest in growing the business?
If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, your idea has a
good chance to succeed as a business, and you are ready to go.
Should you need help in implementing the processes outlined here, you
may want to contact your local Chambers of Commerce or engage the
service of experienced business development professionals.
The Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMEDAN) office or
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Clinic near you is a resource centre
that can also assist you in determining the feasibility of, and
preparation of a business plan for, your business venture.
Visit the office nearest to you and ask the right questions. You will
find a worthy guide and a reliable support.
Best of luck!
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