If you want to start a business, you'll need to think carefully about your business idea. Is it a great idea that could turn into a major brand or will it fall flat at the start line? The team at MOO.COM have created this interactive flowchart to put your business idea to the test!
Do you have the passion and determination to see it through?
It will be long hours and heaps of work, so if you aren’t passionate about it, don’t start it.
Do you have the required skills, knowledge and experience?
Stick to what you know, or find people who can help you!
Do you have a goal for your business?
What do you want to get from your business and how will you achieve your success?
Do you know who your customers are?
A company can’t get off the ground without a great customer base!
Will people pay for this, either now, or in the future?
Start again! Unless you’re a multi-millionaire or a charity, it has to make money for you.
Have you spoken to everyone and anyone about this?
Do your research: if you don’t know what people want, it won’t work.
Have you tried it out on customers in a trial run?
Test the water with your product or service with a limited trial to gain valuable feedback.
Can you describe your customers' need for this?
Then why are you starting it? You need to be able to fill a demand, meet a need, or solve a problem.
Do you have a 25 word sales pitch?
Ideally, you need to be able to describe your business idea in under 25 words. Complicated won’t sell!
Do you have a business plan?
A good business plan is absolutely essential for a successful business.
Have you thought about what resources you will need?
You need to do more research! What skillsets and knowledge are you lacking? Do you have stock? Where will you source your stock, people and/or offices?
Is it different to similar products or ideas?
In order to attract customers, your product must have features that set it apart: it needs unique selling points (USPs) to lure consumers away from competitors!
Do you know the drawbacks and limitations?
There will be some, and it’s better that you find them rather than your competitors or bank manager.
Are you aware of infringement and legal implications?
Although there is little protection for internet-based businesses, there are many options you can look into to protecting your physical products, such as patents.
Is your business sustainable?
Take some time out to rethink! Your business needs to see you through the next decade or so, unless you’re planning on dissolving after a few months.
Is there room for your business to grow?
A business will work better if it can get better.
Do you know your market?
Tackling a smaller niche market may seem like a fantastic business idea, but if that market is rapidly shrinking, it will make it difficult to sustain a profitable business.
Have you worked in this industry before?
Try starting off in an industry you have experience in, or at least have knowledge about.
Do you have industry contacts?
Make some: people who know people always do better. Try networking at events and through Twitter.
Do you know how to price it, promote it and sell it?
How do you plan on making any money from it? You’ll need a great marketing plan, research into competitors’ prices, and a head for finance.
Do you know where your money is coming from?
There are many options available to startups and small businesses, so take time out to explore. There are many grants and loans that could apply to you, as well as schemes like Business Angels, and venture capitalists to research.
Do you have a budget?
The essence of business is to make money! If you don't create a budget for yourself, you could end up losing all you make.
Have you been realistic about your budget?
Think realistically about what would happen if everything went wrong with your business. You'll need to cover for problems when they occur.
Do know your expenditures and overheads?
Carry out more research: you need to know your outgoings so you can minimise them, and potentially make more money – or at least save some!
Can you afford to keep your business running?
Consider how much it will take to open and run your business. You will need enough to comfortably support yourself until your company begins to take in profits.
Do you know when you'll break-even, and how much you need?
It's vital to know this if you’ll be living off this income, otherwise you'll have to budget for keeping yourself alive another way!
Could you accept failure, and know when to quit?
Many initial ventures aren’t successful, so you need to know when to cut your losses, take what you learnt, and move on.
Awesome! Sounds like you have a great business idea!