You have a business idea, but you don’t know if it has potential for success. How do you go about determining if you might have a successful business idea?
I know that was one of my biggest questions when I started. Will this business work? Are there enough potential customers to make a living?
The First Step
Before you can know if you have a good idea, you need to do some basic market research. If you are brick and mortar business, you probably did some research before you setup shop. You should have looked at competition, potential customer base, location of business and you know your demographics.
If you hope to be successful with an online business, you need to do some basic market research as well.
Steps for Successful Business Ideas
Here are six steps to help you in your research determine if you have a potentially successful business idea.
1. Pay-Per-Click campaigns from small businesses
Are you seeing small businesses actively participating in pay-per-click campaigns that are targeting goods and services? When you do a search for products and/or services you offer, are you seeing large, mega-companies bidding on search results or do you see a good number of small businesses?
The fact that there are significant number of small businesses bidding on terms indicates that there is a competitive market and a good customer base. Businesses are only going to engage in pay-per-click campaigns when there is a profitable return on the investment. This is a good indicator of potentially successful business ideas.
2. Niche publications with plenty of ads
Niche publications, like magazines, are good sources of market research. Do you have several niche magazines in your area of business? If you do not, this would be a good indication your business idea is more of a hobby.
If you do have plenty of magazines or publications, then do they have a thriving classified ad section? Classified ads are often included by small business owners trying to market their products or training materials. The presence of niche publications and thriving ad sections are good indicators of potentially successful business ideas.
3. Search results shows training topics
A good indicator that a business idea has legs, is whether there are plenty of training or educational materials in search results. The largest segment of a good business is the beginner and this affords ample opportunity for training and education.
If you find that your business idea has a significant amount of training or educational courses in your search results, you probably have an idea with a large beginner base. Beginners are looking for knowledge and information and are often willing to pay for expert information.
4. Popular authors have membership websites
Similar to the above idea, if the leaders in your niche are developing member only content areas, you may have a good business idea. If there is an opportunity to increase revenue, an author is going to offer exclusive access to content behind their paid wall.
A paid members only area is an excellent indicator that there is money to be made in this niche. Building your own business around this same niche could prove to be as successful for you as it has been for the author.
5. Paid training courses in your niche
There are countless number of training facilities across this country offering courses for a wide range of topics. If you can easily find training courses for your specific niche, you may have a potentially successful business idea.
Training facilities spend a lot of money to grow and develop their business. In order for them to be profitable, there has to be a viable customer base to support the industry. Their customers could also become your customers.
6. Direct response advertising
You get direct mailings for products or services similar to yours in the mail. If you find that you see similar messages delivered via TV or radio or print, you know that you have an idea that has a good customer base. Direct response advertising is not a cheap method to deliver you message. And if businesses are spending their valuable resources, they must be able to identify a good ROI.
This would indicate that your business idea has a good chance at success.
Successful Business Ideas are NOT easy
You may be like me and seem to develop all kinds of “business” ideas. The difference between an idea being a hobby and a business rest in the question of money. Can you make enough money? If you have a niche business idea you need to evaluate its potential for success. If you can say yes to all of these steps, then you have a potentially successful business idea.
Now it becomes a matter of execution. Can you deliver? That is a topic for another day.
What other ideas do you have for evaluating the potential success of your business ideas? Share them in the comments.