As an advisor for LaunchHouse, a Cleveland-based seed capital fund and business accelerator, I get a lot of requests to review business ideas, strategic plans, and potential new markets for existing products. It’s a privilege to do this work and I am always inspired by the ingenuity. It reminds how creative and ambitious people can be.
No matter what industry your small business operates in, there are a few guidelines that can help every entrepreneur determine if there is a market for their business ideas.
1. Simpler, happier, and faster
Innovations reduce complexity in our lives, increase our happiness, and save us time. If your business idea does any one (or a combination) of these things, chances are that there is someone who will benefit from it.
2. Make it, and show it
A prototype is worth a thousand words.
Potential customer, investors, and business partners will better understand your idea if they can visualize and experience it. The best way to make this happen is to build a prototype. It doesn’t have to be fancy, perfect, or expensive. It only needs to take the idea out of your mind and into the hands of others.
Sure! You can explain how delicious your new cookie recipe and idea is, but nothing beats making a sample and letting people taste it for themselves.