Start by asking the right questions

Recently I was invited to take part in an exercise to support young entrepreneurs.  It was a business plan review as part of the curriculum for students in the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.  It’s a great initiative and there are a great bunch of people participating and supporting it. I have to say that I am so encouraged by the creativity and passion of the next generation of business owners AND the people who, like myself, are supporting them.

I also saw something that is as common amongst older entrepreneurs as it is with the ‘newbies’.  It has been a recurring theme with the applicants to The Biz Boot Camp programme. 

It was that the passion can often overpower the need to do the basic things that separate a good idea that is an interesting hobby, from a great idea that is the basis of a profitable business.

As great as an idea may be…

ideas are worthless

It’s not the idea, but how and IF the idea can be implemented in a way that adds value. The level of value that is added will determine if the idea is a hobby or a real and profitable business.

Thousands of people have ‘million dollar ideas’ every day.  So what’s the difference between them and the people who MAKE a million from the idea?  (and don’t say “their bank accounts”)

Often it can be the simple activity of asking simple but powerful questions.  These questions allow you to filter good ideas from the bad ideas – or should I say the profitable ideas from the trash.

Some of these questions are:

  1. What problem and I solving?
  2. Who is it a problem to?
  3. How many people have this problem?
  4. How big of a problem is it to them?

It’s that basic. It’s that simple. And it’s just the beginning but a powerful start.

In many cases you may know the answer.  In other instances you may have to do a bit of research.  As with many things in life, doing some clever work up front can save you a ton of heartache and lost time or money.

There are a bunch of free tools on the internet that can help you to answer these questions very quickly.  If you’re interested in how to do this post a comment and request (below) and I’ll send you a few to get you going.