Photo credit: Chris Potter

There is no definitive answer to determine if your idea is ready to launch. However, there are some indicators that can help you predict your chances of success. Here are five steps to identify if your idea is start-up ready.

1. Keep fine-tuning

It’s rare to get an idea that unfolds exactly the way you initially envisioned. If you’ve fallen in love with your cool business name or catchy idea, and think that’s what will win the day – you still have work to do. Most ideas simply need more fine-tuning to turn them into viable businesses, and the best way to do that is to test your idea with potential paying customers. Get face-to-face feedback. If you have an idea that needs to be built, like an app or a new product,  make sure you bootstrap and build it first, or at the very least have a working prototype.

2. Get experience

Experience in the industry speaks volumes so if you don’t have any, get some. Work part-time or volunteer. It’s always a bad idea to be learning about the job and learning the business side of things at the same time.  If it’s difficult to get direct experience make sure you know the game really well. In my view, one of the major reasons businesses fail is poor market research!

3. Know the game 

Meet people in the industry, ask tough questions, and prepare for information interviews with people in the field. Use your time with your contacts to understand what the norms are in the marketplace – how do businesses market effectively? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have competitors because your customers always have the option of spending their money on something else.  Experience in the industry speaks volumes.

4. Identify the challenges

Look for opportunities but know the challenges and problems you will face. This will force you to probe and question your assumptions. Be a realistic optimist. Spend your time learning how your idea will work locally, not just why it will work globally.

5. Minimize distractions 

Make sure the timing is right for you to start your business. Minimize any financial debt and determine what your social/relationship responsibilities are. Can you count on their support? This is not the time to be taking extensive courses or getting involved with other major activities. Be 110 percent committed to your venture. Have the attitude that this will be a long journey, with no overnight success.

Aim high but don’t lose your grounding. This will give your start up idea a fighting chance to victory.

Visit our Get Started page for more information about starting a business.

Written by: Dominik Loncar, Futurpreneur Canada Entrepreneur-in-Residence, dloncar@futurpreneur.ca

Dominik Loncar is Futurpreneur Canada’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, click here
 to take a look at some of his other articles.