Nearly everywhere we look we see examples and stories of companies that started from nothing and are now worth an obscene amount of money. This “start up culture” has gripped the nation and now we have seen a move by the government as well as some very established business leaders to back new business. The start up loans initiative has backed well over twelve thousand businesses so far and is still going strong. And with this others are also setting up facilities to help budding entrepreneurs including Virgin owner and entrepreneur Richard Branson, who uniquely offers business mentorship as a part of the loan scheme.

So it is apparent that the government are keen for people with new and innovative ideas to come forward and grow their idea into a business, but how do you know your idea is viable as a business opportunity? There is no way to be sure until you get out there and start researching and trialing your idea. Below are some great ideas on where to start and what you should do next.

  • Ask – When you have an idea the biggest challenge you will have is knowing if it is any good. In order to determine this you would first have to ask yourself some basic questions. Does my idea solve a problem the consumers currently have to deal with? Is there a gap in the market for my idea? What makes me different to other competitors in the market? When you have done this, the next step is to ask others if your business has potential. Usually you should start off with family and friends and see the reaction they have to your idea. This can be a great indicator showing if your idea has potential.
  • Evaluate the market – Look at which market your idea fits into, analyse the marketplace to see if there is a gap that your idea fills. This is also a good time to look at what competitors are doing as well as any other external factors that can affect your business.
  • Feedback – Taking on feedback is one of the most useful ways to understand how others see your business. Good or bad feedback can help you to adapt your idea so that it is more user/customer friendly. Feedback can also give you ideas on how to improve your product and answer the customers’ demands.
  • Testing – When you’re ready to hit the market it is always a good idea to trial your business first. If your idea is a product this can mean prototyping or for a service this can mean testing it in a live market.
  • Finance – With some great entrepreneur initiatives currently being offered it may be an idea to approach a start up loans organisation or alternatively seek out individual investors. It is at this point where you may also be seeking an accountant to help advise the best way to set up a financial structure for your business.

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