Choosing a Business Idea? Avoid These 10 Mistakes
Choosing a clientele theme is credibly the thing we help our members with most .
It ’ s apprehensible. You don ’ metric ton want to put a crowd of time and attempt into building a commercial enterprise, only to realize former on that there was a major flaw in the mind that will forever stunt your ship’s company ’ randomness growth .
Of run you ’ re worry about your clientele mind. You should be. Ideas count. If you ’ re going to dedicate years of your life to your business, you want that prison term and feat to pay off. A good business idea is the basis of everything to come.
business ideas are crafty because there is never 100 % certainty that an idea is going to work. There is lone confidence. Your job is to find a commercial enterprise theme you can feel convinced about moving forward with, even though you ’ ll never know many things for certain until you start actually working on the idea .
We all make mistakes building businesses, whether you ’ re a newfangled freelance or the future Elon Musk. Some mistakes you can recover from, some you can ’ thyroxine. The best thing about being at the estimate stage of a occupation, is that there are some important mistakes you can avoid before you put all that attempt in. Avoiding these mistakes now can save you a tremendous amount in the future.
We ’ ra going to share the peak 10 biggest mistakes we see people making. At the end of this, we want you to be able to answer “ is this a good business estimate ” for yourself, a lot better than you can right now, so you can find the estimate that gives you enough confidence ( not certainty ) to move forward .
Here are the 10 biggest mistakes we see in choosing a business idea:
Listen as a podcast:
Each of the mistakes are written below, so keep read if that ’ s your thing. But we besides made a podcast episode discussing each, thus chink looseness ( and subscribe ! ) if you like to listen .
1) Choosing a business idea that no one actually wants
This one is the biggest mistake you can make in choosing a business mind. The biggest goal of a occupation is elementary : make something people want. Starting off with an idea cipher wants is like setting voyage with big, giant, gaping hole in your boat .
Let ‘s say you find yourself writing on a whiteboard with a dry erase marker. then you find yourself setting that dry erase marker down to grab your water bottle. then you pick the dry erase back up again. And over, and over, and over, you repeat this .
sol you decide, valet, why is n’t there a water system bottle with a dry erase pen attached to it ? A dry-erase water bottle. Problem solved .
But does anyone in truth want that ? Just because something solves a “ problem ” and does n’t exist yet, does n’t make it a big business estimate .
People have to want your idea for it to be a great commercial enterprise opportunity .
“ But wait, I ‘ll just explain to everyone how amazing my water bottle dry erase marker is, and how much time it saves. ”
If people are n’t already frustrated by a problem and searching for a solution, you ‘re starting an uphill battle. Do n’t start your business at an evitable massive disadvantage. You ‘ll have batch of other disadvantages to overcome .
Unless you have incredible solitaire and a massive advertise budget, you ca n’t manufacture need. You ca n’t educate your grocery store. You have to tap into existing demand. Make something people want .
Hey, in case you aren’t familiar with what we do here, Fizzle is training for humble business builders. We ’ ve built a library with over 40 person courses, and a community of 2,000+ other entrepreneurs building businesses that topic. Plus, you get access to the Fizzle Small Business Roadmap, which guides you through every footstep of setting up a commercial enterprise in a way that it ’ randomness actually going to work .
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2) Choosing a business idea that you aren’t capable of pulling off
This is another doozy : choosing a commercial enterprise idea that you are n’t capable of pulling off. Something that is besides big or complicated for you to execute. Biting off more than you can chew .
This is probably the biggest reason why businesses fail to even launch, to always have a product for sale, because the commercial enterprise is trying to do way besides much, to run before it even learns how to walk .
This is why we ( Fizzle ) exist. Because the reality is not that most businesses end up toiling away, creating a product, launching it, and then going through this long period of trying to find buyers, and yadda yadda .
The reality is most businesses never even see the light of day because they *fizzle out. * They die a quiet death because the entrepreneur behind it hits a crowd of hurdles because he tried to take on something that is fair excessively big, besides daunting, excessively difficult and takes besides long to finish .
The tendency is to want to create a perfect product good away, one that fulfils our exalted vision for a complete solution .
The reality is that businesses succeed by addressing one small problem really well.
Uber did n’t start as a ball-shaped impel in exile with hundreds of thousands of drivers in 70 countries. They started by operating one kind of vehicle ( total darkness towncars ) in one city ( San Francisco ) for one kind of customer ( rich technical school elites ) .
You have to choose an estimate that you ‘re able of pulling off. You have to assume that things are going to be much harder, and that they ‘re going to take far longer than you think they will. Projects always take longer than we think they will. It ‘s Hofstadter ‘s law :
Hofstadter ‘s law : It constantly takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter ‘s Law .
3) Choosing a business idea that doesn’t stand out enough
Problems worth solving attract lots of contest. People are thirsty, so there are millions of beverage choices out there .
Does the world need yet another new beverage ? That depends .
To make your business idea work in a crowded, established space, it has to stand out. If it stands out enough, you could tap into the massive existing demand and build a huge success fib .
Take razors, for exercise. Huge, established, old commercialize. Billions of dollars in sales. massive major entrenched players with farcical advertising budgets .
And so far, two guys turned a small razor startup from nothing into a billion dollar acquisition in five years. Mark Levine and Michael Dubin might have seemed brainsick to start a razor company with such acute competition, but they knew something significant. They knew the commercialize was frustrated by expensive razors .
dollar Shave Club stood out by just delivering cheaper razors via a subscription model straight to customers by mail. They hammered the point home with their bright launch television “ Our Blades Are F***ing Great ” featuring CEO Michael Dubin. The simple differentiation backed by an incredible television attracted big guess capital money and led to an impressive die less than five years late .
How many other razor companies came and went in that time ? Those that failed failed to stand out adequate from the rival. specialization is necessity. Your business estimate needs a unique sell proposition .
You have to give your customers a reason to choose your product over the rest, otherwise they wo n’t choose yours. They ‘ll equitable move on to a rival who gives them a reason to choose. That ‘s what standing out means, giving person a reason why your thing matters more in some room than another product .
Bonus Onion article : Fuck Everything, We ‘re Doing Five Blades
4) Choosing a business idea where you don’t understand the target customer enough
If you do n’t understand your customers deeply, if you do n’t know them well, how will you solve a trouble for them ? How will you find them ?
Understanding your customers is how you make your business idea stand out. It ‘s how you choose a business estimate that people actually want, because you understand the customer well. Ideally you want to be able to explain your customers’ problem better than they can express it themselves.
You might be thinking, wait a second base, that ‘s impossible. How would I know my customers ‘ problem better than they do ? But this actually happens all the time, because customers are busy. They ‘ve got a bunch going on in their lives and they have this thing that ‘s annoying them, but possibly they have n’t actually sat down and spend months thinking about this thing. It ‘s good something that comes up and nags them every once in a while .
so you, as the business owner, if you get to understand that person and a crowd of early people like her, who have that problem, then you have this advantage of being able to synthesize all of that information and give voice it rear to them in a way they never thought about before. then they ‘re like holy bullshit this clientele truly gets me. This business truly understands that I ‘m tire of going to the memory to buy expensive razors, I want to buy adequate priced razors online .
This understanding your customers thing, it does n’t have to be unconditioned. You do n’t have to have known these people for a decade. It can be learned. You can get to know your customers by talking with them and asking the right questions. That ‘s the goal of our path on customer conversations, to help you ask the right questions, so you can actually understand a group of people and the problems they face .
We ’ ve made a whole course on winning business insights from customer conversations. You can take the path in a free trial of Fizzle, no contracts or payment or anything, if you ’ d like. Check out the video »
5) Choosing a business idea that doesn’t tap into your personal skills, background or experience
Starting a business is a big, difficult, chilling venture. It ‘s a dangerous problem to deal with on it ‘s own. That ‘s why it ‘s so authoritative to try and leverage any existing skills, setting or feel you already have when starting your business .
Why would you throw away all of your skills and have and cognition on a topic and try to gain a bunch of new skills and learn how to build business at the like prison term ?
This happens a set. The inclination is, you ‘re tired of your job, you ‘re tired of the life that you live good now, you want to jump into some fresh, new business idea. Some podcast episode or web log military post comes across your screen, about how XYZ is the hottest business swerve this year .
so then you ‘re going to try and start a business, which means learning a whole bunch of newfangled things, and at the same time, you ‘re going to learn an entire fresh topic as well ? It ‘s no wonder most small businesses fail .
The orient hera is that if you have some sort of in truth useful skill or some experience within a topic, see if there ‘s a way for you to leverage that. Do n’t throw all of that aside. See if there ‘s a way for you to leverage some of that within your business .
It does n’t mean you have to be an adept at the thing you ‘re trying to get off the grind. It does n’t necessarily mean that you have to be an adept on razors, if you want to start Dollar Shave Club. But it does mean that because we ‘re often one-man businesses, you better at least have some of the skills it ‘s going to take, like possibly making videos if a video is going to be a key separate of your strategy, or building websites or whatever it is .
If you have some skills, feel, expertness, talents, any, see if there ‘s a manner for you to incorporate those into your business idea. Do n’t make the error of not leveraging what you already have .
6) Choosing a business idea that you’re not going to want to run
A bunch of us jump into an theme because we ‘re enthusiastic about it as a business opportunity, lone to find out months, or sometimes years subsequently, that this is good not a business that I enjoy running. possibly it does n’t support my life style, possibly I do n’t like the customers, or possibly I do n’t like the intersection that I have to maintain. It precisely becomes mundane for some reason .
You have to think ahead. What will this business look like if it ‘s successful a couple of years ? What will it be like to run this company?
If we do n’t include this as a gene in choosing our business estimate, it ‘s easily to end up with a business that is n’t compatible with the life sentence you want to live .
It ‘s a lot like relationships. How many of us sit down before we find a spouse and create a checklist of what would make a compatible person in the long rivulet ? very few. rather, we get excited and descend in love because of attributes that attract us in the short-run. This happens with occupation ideas adenine good .
It ‘s much chic to sit down and write out a number. Three to five years from now, if this business is successful, what would I want it to be like ? What would I like my day to day to be like ? How would I like to interact with the customers ? What sort of tasks, and hours, and locations and employees would I want ?
For case, let ‘s say you think you want to be a loudspeaker. The estimate of delivering talks to groups of people excites you. You love the mind of being on phase and harbor or inhale people. But then a match of years into it, you realize what a annoyance in the ass the travel is, and that you hate being on the road multiple times every calendar month, but your income is dependant on it. You feel trapped by the daily reality of running your business .
Do n’t choose a business idea that you ‘re not going to want to run in a few years. There ‘s a argue you ‘re starting a commercial enterprise in the inaugural seat, and it ‘s not barely to create another job for yourself .
7) Choosing a business idea because it seems like the easiest option
We all credibly have friends who have jumped from one business theme to the next. They had this wish chronic entrepreneurialism screen of matter, but nothing always sticks. They read the Four-Hour Workweek and then they think it ‘s equitable supposed to be easy .
So they ‘re precisely looking for that easy get-rich quick kind of thing. They heard a radio receiver ad about flipping houses or person ‘s told them about this multilevel market thing. They picked up the latest offspring of Entrepreneur magazine and there ‘s 50 hot occupation ideas that you start in 3 weeks or less .
This is a big red sag. If you ‘re looking for a business mind because it ‘s going to take minimal attempt to get off the grind it probably means you ‘re going to struggle all along the way .
If a business estimate finds you from a list of occupation ideas, like if person reaches out to you like, oh bro, you ‘ve got to check this out it ‘s truly easy… Or if person sells you on a multi-level market idea… Or a podcast or blog mail proclaims Amazon FBA to be the greatest and easiest opportunity of 2015. Any business theme that finds you in that direction is fishy. You can hush consider these, but be disbelieving .
veridical business opportunities take lots and lots of hard make. There are n’t any shortcuts. If you ‘re considering a business idea only because it seems easy, you might not be cut out for entrepreneurship .
8) Choosing a business idea that customers can’t/won’t pay for
This one is a simple doubt. Can my customers pay and will they pay ?
even if you make something people want, your occupation could even fail if your customers are n’t uncoerced or able to pay for your intersection or military service .
This might seem like a “ duh ” point to make, but trust us, this one travel people up all the time. All of us on the Fizzle team have built businesses that ran into this problem in the past, where we built a business around a real problem, only to discover our consultation either was n’t willing or able to pay for a solution .
Some problems are n’t valuable enough. People might want a solution, but only if it ‘s free .
unfortunately, this is n’t always an easy doubt to answer. Customers might tell you they want a solution and will pay for it, until it ‘s meter to actually break out the credit rating card .
Like we said in the begin, you ‘ll never be 100 % certain about a business mind. Your goal is to gain enough confidence to move forth. The lapp is true of knowing whether customers will pay .
There are a few ways to find out whether customers will pay :
- Pre-sell your product (like kickstarter campaigns)
- Look for evidence that people are already paying for similar solutions
- Talk to customers and ask what they would be willing to pay (be careful, this is notoriously unreliable evidence)
ultimately, the lone way to find out whether people will pay is to put a real product in front of them and see if they ‘ll buy. The best way to mitigate the hazard of having built something no one will pay for is to create a minimal feasible product, something little that proves whether your business idea works .
9) Choosing a business idea that you don’t care enough about
If you do n’t care about your occupation idea enough, it ‘s going to be very unmanageable to execute at a competitive degree .
There ‘s a dispute between rage and caring. mania is often a fleeting thing. You do n’t have to be passionate about creating a solid cheaper razor option, but you do have to care about it enough to put in the years of feat necessary to build a viable business .
When you do n’t care about an idea enough, you ‘ll see this apparent in losing steam and momentum after just a copulate of months. It ‘s slowly to have love and enthusiasm early on on in a business idea, but what actually matters is that you still care 6 months, 12 months, 24 months later and beyond, when things get in truth bully .
When the going gets hood, where do you continue to find the motivation ?
Caring can be a huge advantage, particularly in push markets .
Caring trumps opportunism every time .
Caring is n’t everything, but it ‘s an crucial part of a upstanding foundation. And you can find care in different places. You can care about the problem, or the solution, or the audience, or the greater good .
10) Choosing a business idea that you can’t explain simply
We hear all the clock time from people who are trying to articulate an theme that they have swirling around their head that they have n’t quite distilled down adequate. This does n’t mean that your estimate is doomed, it might just mean that you ‘re not quite there even .
Because if it ‘s besides complicated, if you ca n’t explain your idea merely enough, it means it ‘s credibly excessively complicated, excessively obscure for you to identify a actually specific problem, a particular group of people, and to create a product that will serve that specific audience in some tangible room. Because it ‘s just besides broad at this point. You have n’t boiled everything down .
When you have a intuition about a problem and a group of peole, but it ‘s calm heavily to communicate it in a net and concise way, that ‘s all right, but it means you ‘re on the road. You ‘re in the procedure of refining your theme. You need more stimulation and experience and time. You need to find out if this trouble is real and if it is, you ‘ll finally find a way to make it dim-witted .
If you feel like you could explain your mind, if you merely had 5 minutes, you need to realize that you ‘re not going to get 5 minutes. You get a headline, or a tweet, or the 80 characters that fit in an ad .
Your speech needs to be sharp, and covenant, and compelling .
This applies not only for customers but besides for electric potential employees, electric potential investors, and partners. Anyone who ‘s coming in touch with your business is going to have to understand it and it ‘s a big problem if you ca n’t explain it simply .
“Is this a good business idea?”
I hope you ’ ll be better able to answer that question for yourself, now that you know about these 10 common mistakes in choosing a business estimate .
If you decide to move forward even though you ’ re making one of these mistakes ( wittingly ), you might hush be able to overcome the flaws in your business idea. But two or three or more of these mistakes will likely keep your occupation from always making the impact you hope it will.
Remember that a business idea is just the first base measure and there is this unharmed early thing called execution, which is pulling off the mind, which is building the product and finding the people and as Derek Sivvers likes to say, ideas are equitable a multiplier of murder .
execution is the hard part ; ideas are relatively simple in comparison. Do your best to choose a solid mind and then prepare yourself for the months and months of heavily influence ahead .
Want to avoid even more mistakes? Get Fizzle ’ s spare guidebook to the top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business »