expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Although ideas and opportunities are used interchangeably, they are not the same. Ideas are unproven concepts, opportunities are proven and valuable concepts. An idea is not always an opportunity. According to IGI Global, only about 6% of ideas achieve commercial success. A good idea has to be an improvement on a current product or a new product on the market. Turning an idea into an opportunity isn’t easy – trust me, I know it. It takes a lot of time, patience, perseverance, resources, hard work and effort. Most importantly, it requires confidence and complete belief in what you are doing. You must be able to convey to your target audience that your ideas are valuable to them. Here are a few ways you can determine if a business idea can be a business opportunity:
Related: 5 Steps to Turn Your Invention Ideas into Products
Can your idea solve the problem?
My Alahta hairbrush pouch is made out of necessity. It’s not a “what money-making idea can I come up with?” type of situation. I need a pouch or case to store my hairbrush or comb in my purse or travel luggage. I wanted something that would protect the inside from stray hairs, keep my hair accessories free of dust and grime, and also provide organization. I work better when I’m organized. My product idea adds value, solves problems and fills needs.
Are there gaps in the market about your idea?
The product I’m looking for can’t possibly be a hairbrush or comb that fits a specific shape and size, it should be flexible enough to fit the different shapes and sizes of brushes and combs I own. When I searched for this product in stores and online and couldn’t find it, I thought of creating my own and saw the idea as an opportunity. I don’t think I can be the only one who needs this product. I was sure some of my target audience needed this product, but didn’t realize they needed it.
The uniqueness, durability, and added colors and prints of this product will be a great investment for the customer. I did three different surveys to see if anyone other than me would be interested in the idea. I surveyed strangers because I wanted more honest people. The prototype I used for the investigation was solid red. Some surveyors suggested that I should do prints and more colors. I explained that I was planning to have different colors and some prints and that the samples they saw were for research purposes only. They are involved enough to offer advice, which excites me. The consensus was that both men and women liked my idea and were interested, so I continued to take the next step to try and turn my idea into an opportunity because there was a gap in the market for this product.
Related: 5 Ways to Turn Crazy Ideas into Awesome Realities
Will people pay for your idea?
Simply put, without customers, there is no business opportunity. You have to find out if people are really willing to pay for your product idea and determine if there is any demand. In addition to this, it is also important to determine how many people are willing to pay for your product.
Research your competitors
While trying to determine if there was a gap in the market for my product idea, I also searched for potential competitors and researched what they had to offer. I want to make sure my product is unique and offers more value than my competitors’ products. I am happy to find that my competitors have no products that can compete with me. Discovering this built my confidence and I’m excited to get started as I want to share my product ideas with as many potential customers as possible.
related: 5 reasons why a good business idea is never enough to succeed
I’m excited to share the story of why I created this product, not only on my website, but also in person when I go to salons to promote my products. Once a stranger told me my product was a smart idea, it made me even more proud. While what I’ve shared in this article isn’t the holy grail of determining whether your idea can be a business opportunity, it’s a great place to start. It’s normal to worry that no one or not enough people will think like you do.
If you are afraid of failure, you are not alone. Don’t let it stop you, and don’t be afraid to test the waters — but do so carefully and logically. Based on my personal experience on the road, I recommend doing thorough research, not making knee-jerk decisions, seeking feedback, being consistent, building a team, getting everyone to sign the NDA, self-care regularly, and finding a mentor. You can’t do it all alone. Don’t let the hurdles I’m sure you’ll face intimidate you. Stick with it and turn the idea into a success.