Business Advice

The brutal truth: Why your business idea might be crap (and how to fix it)

- October 5, 2023 2 MIN READ

A great idea doesn’t always make for a great business. Olivia Jenkins shares how you can validate your idea before putting in too many hours and too much money.

As an award-winning Business and Marketing Consultant specialising in the health, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle industries, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some of the most visionary CEOs.

These are individuals with the ambition and courage to create something new and transformative. Yet, even among the best and brightest, I sometimes have to be the bearer of difficult news: “Your business idea might not work.”

Don’t get me wrong; constructive criticism is part of the process. After all, how can we grow if we’re not willing to confront the reality of our situations. What I’ve found over the years is that many new business ideas often suffer from common pitfalls.

Here are some of the most common mistakes I encounter:

  1. Ignoring Product-to-Market Fit

Picture this: you have an innovative product that you believe will change the industry. It’s sleek, it’s new, and it’s different. There’s only one problem—nobody needs it. One of the first boxes any business idea must tick is product-to-market fit. Is there a genuine demand for what you’re offering? Are you fulfilling an unmet need? If not, you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle.

  1. Neglecting Market Research

I can’t stress this enough – you must understand your market. Market research isn’t just a box to tick; it’s the cornerstone of any successful business. Who is your target customer? What are the pricing strategies in your industry? What are the current trends? If you skip this step, you’re essentially sailing a ship without a compass. Good luck with that.

  1. Relying on Friends and Family for Feedback

Ah, the echo chamber. While it’s wonderful to have a supportive circle, friends and family are often too emotionally invested to offer the blunt feedback you need. I can’t count the number of times clients have leaned on biased opinions, only to find that the market wasn’t nearly as receptive. Businesses have folded because entrepreneurs relied too much on the feel-good feedback loop from friends and family.

  1. Solving Non-Problems

Last but not least, some entrepreneurs invest time and resources into solving problems that either don’t require a solution or have already been adequately addressed. It’s like reinventing the wheel when there’s already a well-functioning model in place.

How to Turn the Ship Around

The bright side is that each of these mistakes offers a lesson and an opportunity to adjust your course moving forward. Begin by committing to robust market research that provides actionable insights into demand and potential for scaling. Then, seek objective, unbiased feedback. This could come from industry insiders, potential customers, or even competitors. They won’t sugarcoat their opinions, offering you the genuine insights you need.

Lastly, take a step back and reevaluate the problem you’re aiming to solve. Ensure its a genuine issue requiring a new or improved solution. If it ticks that box, you’re likely on a promising path.

Remember, the road to success is rarely linear. It’s filled with twists, turns, and lessons to be learned. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you position yourself for a more predictable and successful journey.  Sometimes the hardest truths catalyse the most profound transformations. Don’t shy away from them – embrace them.

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