This is going to sound obvious. Really, really obvious…
Have you asked your market if they want the product or service you are going to offer? I mean really asked them – not your immediate family or friends, but members of the market you are going to target with your product or service?
It’s amazing how many times businesses (big and small) skip this obvious step and instead start with a product or service, and then try to find a market. Sometimes they get lucky and there is a need for what they offer, often there isn’t. But wouldn’t it be better to know one way or the other BEFORE you are financially committed to the business?
I’m not sure exactly why so many new business owners skip this step, although I could hazard a guess – often the passion that follows having a great business idea becomes all consuming, which makes it very difficult to step back and look at things rationally. Often the emotional attachment to a new idea stops us from hearing feedback that isn’t positive. In fact some are so scared of negative feedback they never ask for feedback at all!
Don’t get me wrong – passion is a wonderful thing and all really successful businesses have leaders with great amounts of passion. Just don’t fall into the trap of letting that passion blind you, keeping you from testing your idea and making sure you are meeting your markets needs and wants.
The simple truism for all businesses is to find a market, ask them what they want, make it or find it, then sell it to them. I know how simple that sounds and there are a number of other considerations in the real world. But this still remains true – start with your market and work backwards, not with a product or service looking forwards.