If you’re entrepreneurial minded, you’re probably constantly thinking of new ideas to start a business or grow your existing business. I can’t tell you how many business ideas for websites and blogs I’ve come up with in the last 4 years, since starting One Money Design. I think I’ve started at least 4 others that I didn’t pursue very long.
It’s healthy to brainstorm new ideas and even act on some of them. At the same time, you have to be careful because you can spend too much time chasing after business ideas and never really have enough focus you need to be successful or profitable with one good idea. I think the other blogs I started were all good ideas, but they took me away from my true passion of writing about stewardship and personal finance here at One Money Design.
So, how do you keep from chasing too many ideas and wasting precious time and resources? Forbes says it’s all in asking yourself 5 questions before moving forward.
- Does the idea solve a problem?
- Can you execute on it?
- Will people talk about it or share it?
- Does it have a shelf life?
- Is the value worth the investment?
I think these are excellent questions to ask yourself if you’re mind is racing with new ideas. I know I’ll find them helpful as my mind continues to be flooded with ideas and I have the itch to act quickly upon them. Let’s review these questions a little bit closer as I share my own thoughts around them.
Does your idea solve a problem?
Every good business idea probably needs to solve some sort of problem, otherwise it won’t be helpful to your customers. This blog is meant to solve financial problems in helping people overcome challenges and learn to manage their resources better. It’s a great question to ask before writing a new blog post!
Can you execute your idea?
This is important because you have to have the skills and resources to actually carry your idea forward. I would love to develop some software one day, but I don’t have the skills, at least not for the programming. That just means I would have to make an extra investment to outsource the technical work based on my requirements and plan.
Will people talk about it?
I think this question is really important in our online world today with social media. Great ideas have buzz and they are worth sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus. I think that’s why articles and content on the web goes viral. Write a good enough article for your blog and it just might be shared with the world!
Does it have shelf life?
Not every idea is going to last forever. I wonder how long social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will last? Will people still be using and sharing ideas on Facebook in 10 – 20 years? I don’t know, but you have to think about whether or not your idea can sustain the test of time. I think sharing content and social media will continue to be around, but likely taking on new forms.
Is the value worth the investment?
This is an extremely important question to answer if you’re idea is for business. Your initial investment will likely either be capital or time. Will the value of the idea, or perhaps the return, outweigh the investment? This matters unless you’re not in the business of making a profit.
That being said, I think there are a lot of things in which you can’t measure the value, like helping someone become a better financial steward of God’s resources. As a Christian, I’ll spend my life on sharing those principles because I know the reward of someone experiencing financial peace in by following God’s plan is much greater than a paycheck!
These 5 questions are a real gem for me. I’ll definitely consider them as I continue work here at One Money Design and as I think of new blogs or ideas I get excited about starting.
What about you? If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner how do you evaluate whether or not a business idea is worth pursuing?