Monday, September 12, 2011

Researching your business opportunity

The success rate of a new business getting past its third year is low. To increase your probability of success, you must ensure that the business opportunity that you explore is financially viable, has a market and that the idea is suitable for your personality. Before you take the plunge, take the time to do some research into the opportunity and see if it’s a right fit for you. . Here are some tips that will help you determine if your business opportunity is going to be successful.

1. Do your market research.

This is the first and most important aspect of your research. Is your product or service something that you would use in your life on a daily basis? If not, then why do you want to get into that business? Remember, your clients want to buy a product that will help them solve their problems. At this stage, you should contact a few prospects and provide a demonstration and get their feedback. Take a deeper look into the market; are there a lot of competitors? How are they doing? Is there space for another competitor such as you? By finding the answers to these questions, you’ll determine if your new business has a market opportunity.

2. What is your business revenue model?

Or in other words – how are you going to make money? Take a detailed look at your business - do you know clearly how the cash is going to come in and how much your prospects are willing to pay? Are the profit margins so low that you can barely make a living from the sale? If you don’t understand where the money is coming from, then you shouldn’t be getting into this business.

3. Know your numbers

Starting a business requires you to not only understand if your clients will buy from you, but also knowing how much it will cost to deliver that service. Once you know the numbers (and you should have already identified how much your clients are willing to pay for your product/service), you will be able to determine whether there is enough of a profit margin for your business to grow. A good tip to determine your start-up costs is to outline all the steps you need to take in order to deliver a product to your client. Then list the equipment or services that you will need. This list should indicate how much those start-up costs are going to be.

4. Seek professional advice

Get some advice from experts and other entrepreneurs related to your business. Do your research on the internet, try to find a forum, or an association that is in your industry and try learning as much as you can. Understand potential challenges or any barriers to entry that new businesses face, any rules or regulations, and as many costs that may be related to your business. It would be wise to spend the money in hiring experts such as a lawyer and an accountant to help you.

Starting a business is very exciting, however, if you haven’t done your homework, you’ll soon find out how stressful it can be. Always seek advice from experienced people and use it to your advantage. It’s best that you make the right decisions early than suffer a major loss down the road as a result of selecting the wrong business opportunity.

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