Checklist: your idea

You have a great idea for your business and you're champing at the bit to get it up and running. But first, take a few minutes to make sure you are absolutely ready.


You have a great idea for your business and you’re champing at the bit to get it up and running. But first, take a few minutes to make sure you are absolutely ready.

This is an opportunity to have a final check on your idea before you start becoming involved in the actual formalities and expense of forming your business. Note that where the word ‘product’ is used, this could also be ‘service’ or ‘skill’.

  1. Have you defined your product ideas?
  2. Have you carried out market research into your idea?
  3. Have you discerned a market sector or niche which you will sell to?
  4. Is that segment big enough for you to build a business on it?
  5. Have you researched the characteristics of your likely customers?
  6. Have you identified what are the benefits and advantages not yet available to that segment?
  7. Will you be able to supply a product that meets those needs?
  8. Do you know how your product will be different from the competitorsâ™?
  9. Have you estimated how much your likely customers will buy and when that will be?
  10. Have you found out how the product will be sold, for example, e-commerce, direct mail, direct selling, retail, distributors, etc.?
  11. Have you made a realistic forecast of the market share you can attain?
  12. Is the market likely to grow in the next few years?
  13. Have you talked to potential customers and do they like your product?
  14. Have you carried out any test selling and has it confirmed your estimates of sales?
  15. Will the product live up to the reputation you intend to project?
  16. Have you estimated a price you can sell for?
  17. Do you know how the product will be made?
  18. Can you work out an approximate cost?
  19. Do you have an initial idea of overheads for the business, for example, rent, telephone, heating and lighting, etc
  20. Have you made an approximate guess at the profits and when they will be earned?
  21. Will this give you an income you can live on?
  22. Will you need to raise money and is this a realistic amount?
  23. Have you thought carefully about what the principal risks are to your business?
  24. Can you put an estimate on the likelihood of these risks occurring?      

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