Almost everyone with an idea for a business thinks it cannot fail. But finding ideas that have a chance of being commercially successful is tough.

Ask yourself these questions before starting:

  1. Does my idea fill a need or solve a problem? If your product or service isn’t going to help anyone, you have a problem. To turn a profit, you have to have a market, and there is no market without need.
  2. Who is my market? Whether you sell a service or a product, you must have a clear vision of who makes up your market, and keep that vision at the forefront as you start to develop your business.
  3. How big is the market? You know exactly who you’re going to sell to, but how many people make up your market? Knowing how large your market is lets you nail down the financials.
  4. How am I going to make money? The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. If you can’t make money from your product or service, you don’t need to be running a business.
  5. How do I differ from competitors? Most businesses offer the same products and services with a twist. Differentiating yourself from others could mean value-added services or free delivery. Whatever it is, determine your differences at the outset.
  6. How hard is it to break into my field of choice? You must know the restrictions on your product or service. You may have financial difficulties to overcome, or regulatory compliance measures to meet. Knowing the limitations, and overcoming them, is essential to a good start.
  7. What type of company do I need and how big should it be? Thanks to the Internet, you can create anything from a single-person operation at home to an entire factory. Know which is right for your product or service.
  8. What investment is required? If you are unsure how much money your business will cost to start, you’re not ready to open.

Once you know the answers to these questions, you’re ready to begin talking to the right business consultant and start building a plan for future success.

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