Four Signs Your Idea Is Launch Worthy

You (and everyone you know) has probably had 50 great ideas for a new service or product in your lifetime. Laundry-folding robots and waterproof smartphones? Yes, please. But what differentiates a good idea you had once from a real business you can commit your life to launching? Here are four tenants I use when helping owners decide:

YOU HAVE ONE IDEA YOU’RE READY TO COMMIT TO  
That’s right, just one for now.  And that doesn’t mean just lumping all those ideas under one roof either, like a yoga studio that sells gourmet PB&J also offers vacuum repair services.  Pick the one that is the best intersect of your skills sets, your passion and the ability to bring in revenue — perhaps just the yoga studio for now.  Otherwise, it’s going to be really hard to communicate what you do to your customers and even harder to give the focus and energy needed to see any of your ideas through to success.

YOU ARE READY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DO — AND LISTEN TO FEEDBACK
It does you absolutely no good to sit on your good idea and not get feedback and advice to turn it into a great idea.  So often I’ve heard, “I don’t want my idea to get out… others might steal it!”  They won’t.  And if your friends and family are stealing your ideas, you have bigger problems than being ready to launch.  Talking about it not only forces you to receive feedback, but it also begins the transformation inside of you from something you’re thinking about doing to something you’re launching.  And that transformation is critical to your business’ success.

YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN YOUR BUSINESS INDUSTRY
This one seems simple, but is often overlooked.  You might have the best idea in the world for your revolutionary Chinese-Mexican fusion burrito: if you aren’t a cook and don’t know the first thing about burrito making, and neither does anyone else in your network, and you can’t afford to hire a cook, you can’t launch.  Sorry, you just can’t.

YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR BUSINESS
I’m intentionally saying believe because I think that is bigger than saying “you’re passionate about it” or “you know it will make money.”  Believing is what helps you weather the storms.  I might be passionate about tasty burritos, but that alone doesn’t give me grounds to pursue it as a business.  I might know that interior design is a lucrative business but shouldn’t pursue it if I hate working with people.  At the end of the day, you have to believe in the value your product/service brings to your customers and the value it brings to your life if you’re going to be successful.  Don’t build something you’re going to hate.

If you find that you don’t quite meet all of these four tenants, don’t despair. It doesn’t mean your business ownership dreams are D.O.A. More than likely, your idea just needs some more refining and more focus. Seek out other business owners and ask them about how they refined and committed to their business idea or read some of our Real Owners’ Stories. You’ll find many of them tried some other ideas that didn’t work before hitting on the one that did!