Outlining Your Ideas

By now, you should have some solid business ideas. Now it’s time to outline each idea to help you evaluate what your best option is.

Some questions that you should ask yourself include:

  • What does my product or service look like?
  • What problem is this product or service solving?
  • How do I know that others would be interested in this product or service?
  • Who would my customers be?
  • Is there an opportunity to turn the product or service into a customer-focused experience?
  • Can I make a profit from this product or service?

The amount of research that you do for each question will depend on many factors, including the size and complexity of your small business. If you’re planning on building a giant IT company based around a brand-new technology, then you will want to spend quite a bit of time outlining each idea that you have. You may even want to invest in research tools, like focus groups and consultants, to validate your ideas. However, if you’re planning a small, online business, then your research might be on a smaller scale. You might want to focus on a few possible customers, mentors, and other entrepreneurs.

Make sure that you ask the right questions of the right people. Asking your family and friends if they think your business might make a profit might not be appropriate, but asking them who would buy your product or service might be.

Finally, remember that opinions and advice are just that. Evaluate each piece of information you receive, decide if it’s valid, and then decide whether it belongs in your idea outline.