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Evaluating an Idea

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DonnaLyn Thorsteinson Director, Square One April.20.2018

So, you have an idea.  Now what?

Many people come to see us in the idea phase and want to know if their business is the right one for them to pursue.  Here is a list of things that we ask our clients to consider:

  1. What are you really GOOD at and what do you LIKE doing.
    “Do work you love.  Think about what you are good at.  What do you do where the time flies by?  That’s your passion.  Ask yourself how you can turn that into a business. That’s what’s going to make you happy.  Not everyone is built to be an entrepreneur, but if you are, there is no better thing than to wake up and work on something you own, that you built, that you love.  That’s when it becomes a life instead of a job.” ~Angela Benton, founder and CEO of NewME Accelerator
  2. What are the RESOURCES you will need to get your business off the ground?
    Every entrepreneur needs a different combination of resources.  At the minimum you will need:

    • Time
    • Money
    • People
    • Everyone has different access to different things, so you need to consider if you have less time, you may need to spend more money, or if it’s only you running the business, you may need to employ others, outsource work or ask friends and family for help and advice.
      Other resources include a physical space to do business, equipment, training, supplies, etc.
  3. Who is your MARKET now and who will it be in the future?
    • Geographic’s where are the people you are targeting?  Is it your local community? Extended radius? Rural? Province?
    • Demographics – who are the people you are targeting? Age, gender, etc.
    • Communication style – how do the people in this demographic communicate? How will you get the best response Newspaper? Snap chat? Billboards?
    • Lifestylehow do the people in this market live? In a family? Young children? Retired? Active? Travellers? Square One can help you find this information relative to the area you want to target.  Ask us how!
  4. Will people be willing to PAY for my product or service?
    • You need to validate that there’s demand for your product is because you’re starting out with a guess, not an actual product.
    • You’re guessing that your product is something people want, that people want to pay you for your product, and that you can grow your business into something profitable.
    • A great idea can only translate into a successful business if people are willing to pay for the product or service.
    • You need to understand the answers to these questions so you can easily explain your idea to other people. 
    • Ask yourself:
      • What problem do my potential customers have?
      • What’s the solution to that problem?
      • Why would people pay money for my product?
  5. How will I PROMOTE my product or service?
    “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere” ~Lee Lacocca,  American Automobile Executive

    • Marketing is more than just an advertising campaign; it should result in revenue for your business. Understanding the different ways to promote your product or service can help you make the right choice for your business.
    • Depending on the type of message you want to communicate with your customers, print media offers different options, including brochures, business cards, newspaper ads and magazines.
    • Electronic media is a general term for any media that requires an electronic device for the content to be accessed. Some of the most common forms of electronic media include television, radio, internet and content for mobile devices.
    • Networking and community involvement can also support the promotion of your business. You can make new contacts and reach out to potential customers by participating in trade shows, conferences, community activities and other networking events. Speaking to people about your business can be one of the most effective ways of promoting your product or service.
    • Planning your marketing strategy will help you determine the best way to promote your product or service, allow you to measure your success against set goals and provide you with a clearer idea of where your strategy may need adjustments. Access Square One’s Ask An Expert Program and speak with a Marketing expert to help you with your strategy.


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