8 Questions to ask your Business Idea

Its official…2013 is the year of the entrepreneur. If no one else is declaring it, I am. I meet so many people courtesy of my job who are no longer satisfied with just answering to their line manager or following a strict job description. More people want to express themselves doing what they love and enjoy.

So if you are thinking of taking a step towards maximizing your passion or start a business. I have got a few questions you should ask your idea?

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 1. Does your product or service add value?
More people can now see beyond a good idea. If you want to compete with others in the marketplace, then you will need more than nice packaging and a good website. Your product or service should add value to the lives of your target market and readily make a difference once they make a purchase.

 2. Who will buy your product or service?
I made this mistake a few times when I started out in business. As soon as I thought of a good idea, I plunged it right on my website. When people did not buy the service, I got a hump. What I failed to see then was that a good business idea in my eye won’t translate to sales if my target market don’t need it. Take time to discover your target market and their needs. Then develop products and services that meet their specific needs – you will have a better chance of making a sale.

 3. Is your industry a saturated market?
If you are considering a product or service in a highly saturated market, you should be ready to fight to survive. You will also need more that a Unique Selling Point as you can be sure as day that as soon as you launch your idea, someone is going to be on your heel. So analyse your product’s benefits in-depth and find specific and unusual ways to make it stand out.

4. Is there a rise or decline in demand for your product or service?
Is there really any point in bringing to the market a product that is on the decline? If your idea has been waiting on the back burner for many years, is now the time to finally ‘Bring it to Life’? I believe in passion but passion and good business sense go hand in hand. You might need to go back to the drawing board and redesign or redefine your products or services.

5. How will technology advancement or other factors affect your business?
Sadly many businesses have gone into administration recently, I am sure they tried to move with the times but some are not just fast-paced enough to catch up. With the speed of technology development nowadays, the adage “you snooze, you lose” is so appropriate. How long can your products/services last on the market before something new comes along? What are your plans to keep up demands for products or services? Good questions to ask yourself if you are considering a long-term business.

6. Is there room for development or modification to meet new demands?
If you are designing a product or service, you should factor in room for improvement. In five years time, what modifications can you add to your products or what further benefits can your services provide? Have you got another version/better specification model to follow? It is important that you design your products/services with the future in mind so you can keep supplying those who need what you offer.

 7. What are the established businesses in your proposed market doing?
Carry out some research to find out what the big players in your industry have got up their sleeves. What is their next business step, what products do they have in the pipeline? Preempt their next moves and brainstorm their ideas to see if they can give birth to new ideas for your business?

This is totally random but I love this post on Entrepreneur.com ‘The secret of what makes a product go viral’ 

 8. How do you see your product or service developing in the next five years?
Even though most business owners would say they have a five-year plan, the plan can only be at the very best – a plan. If all the variables remain constant, maybe then maybe we can achieve our five years goals. You should always consider various options for your business development at any given time including an exit strategy.

Maybe now is the time to get your business idea or product development off the back-burner and start taking actions to bring it to market. But before you sign the office lease, send out the new product flyers and order the equipment, in-depth market research can never go amiss before a start-up/new development. Consider your options, analyse your answers, if you need to change your game plan, by all means do that but do not stand on the sideline and watch the world go by.

Get a bit of the action! The world is waiting for your business idea to blossom.

Need help discovering your passion, developing your idea, setting up your own business or brainstorming roadblocks in your existing business? Then contact me and let’s explore your options together.

I wish you good success.
Temi Koleowo

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Fear – A Business Startup Roadblock

Have you been trying to start a business for a while? You have got the idea, you know your target market but somehow you haven’t been able to step out and just do it.

JUST DO IT
I know ‘just do it’ is a clique we have all heard so many times especially since Nike made it such a famous slogan. This is one of the tools I use for my own mind battles. When I see that I am starting to flag in certain areas, I tell myself “Just Do It!”
It is important that you take time to identify what is stopping you from starting out. Find out what your roadblocks are so you can find ways to get rid of them. In this blog, I want to highlight one of the roadblocks I had to battle to start my business a few years ago.

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FEAR
Yes, I said it… FEAR!!!!. Fear is a huge factor to battle when it comes to starting something new. There is always a nagging thought at the back of one’s mind telling you that you are bound to fail. Fear of failure plagues even the most successful business owners, they just learn to push pass it and do it anyway. If you are a master planner like I used to be, who likes a predictable life then it can be such an uphill struggle to launch into the unknown.  I had a constant tug-of-war with fear which I eventually won and was able to do what I wanted to do.

One of my favourite quotes is by Ambrose Redmoon which states “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”  If I do not maximise my passion now, then when?

1092344_fear zithericaFEAR is a natural emotion and you are permitted to feel fear, but it is what you do with the feeling that makes all the difference. I have stood on podiums to deliver workshops with fear. I have approached clients that I thought were way out of my league with fear. In these circumstances I have won both my internal and external battles by learning to feel the fear and do it anyway!

MAKE A LIST
I want you to think of what you are afraid of. Make a list of the things that scare you about starting your own business. Do you think you will not be able to pull it through, is it lack of knowledge, losing a source of income, lack of self-confidence or self-belief?
Then ask yourself “what is the worst that can happen?” Once you know that, find ways to minimise those risks and take action.

 FACE YOUR FEAR
Once you can identify what you are afraid of then you are half way there. Let’s look at ways to deal with them. Unfortunately unlike traffic cones that cause roadblocks in the middle of the road, you can’t just lift and discard them. You have to think of ways to minimise the effect of the fear by seeking its antidote.

For example: If your fear is lack of knowledge in a business area, research on how you can increase your knowledge. Will dedicated learning about your industry one hour a day, three times a week boost your confidence? If you can find a mentor in that industry, will it make a difference?
If you need a regular source of income to survive, don’t quit your job just yet. Start gradually – moonlight if you have to, to get things off the ground. Then once you establish your business with regular revenue, you can start writing your own pay cheques.

Rather than allow fear to paralyse you into inactivity, remove the cobwebs that hold you bound and take small steps to begin to eliminate the NOs in your life.

I wish you good success mixed with God’s blessings

Temi Koleowo.

I am here to help you unlock the potential of your passion, develop your idea into a concept you will love and enjoy.  Visit us at www.businessfirststeps.co.uk

Photos from sxc.hu.

The Potential of Your Passion

“Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have, and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more.” Robert Collier

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When we seek to discover the potential of our passion, it means we stop thinking of just ourselves. It is no longer business as usual. Our focus stops being about self, it is now what we can do to help others and make a difference.  Don’t misconstrue this, not everyone needs a handout from us. Some people just need motivation to help find and fix their own part of the jigsaw puzzle of life. Whilst some just need the answers/solutions in us for the questions/problems in them.

There are people out there whose destiny is linked to ours in ways we just can’t fathom. I love Kevin Bacon’s EE Ad which shows interlinks between so many people.  Check out the Ad hereThat is the way the universe is made, someone somewhere is linked to you by virtue of what is on the inside of you.

My only concern is as long as that talent, passion, knowledge, experience, or skill is locked up in us, there is very little possibility of being able to reach the person who needs us.  But of course someone else will step up to do the job if we lose our place in the queue.

Why lose the opportunity to be the game changer when the ingredients are already there? 

The dynamics of the world is changing; many are becoming lovers of self. For the sake of the next generation, we need to stand up and be counted as those who refuse to sell out to a selfish world. Rather choose to use your gifts and talents to provide the solution or answer that makes a difference and puts a smile on someone else’s face.  You never know how far the effect of that feel-good factor can go.

You need knowledge backed with persistent action to unlock the power and the potential of the passion within you.

Click the link to join my online workshop on the 12th of March 2013 12:00 noon and discover how to unlock those precious gems within you.

I wish you good success.

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps – personalised and practical Business Set-up and Start-up