When you come up with an idea it can be tough to know if you’re on the right track for success, or if it’s just another idea that you like simply because you came up with it.
Here are a few ways to know if you’re on the right track with the idea you have in mind…
- It solves a problem
This is key indicator of an idea worth pursuing. If your idea solves a problem (especially a common problem) that other people have, there is probably a market for your product or service. And if it solves an expensive problem (one that costs people or industries money) — your odds of profitable success multiply exponentially.
- A variation of your idea is already in the market (and having some success)
Contrary to popular belief, your idea does not have to be 100% original. As a matter of fact, if there is a similar product on the market you’ll have an idea of how much demand there is for products in that category (you’ll also know if there isn’t demand for that type of product). You’ll have to consider if your product is different enough to compete and if your variation is superior to what’s already available. It’s also okay if there isn’t a product already out there that would compete with yours, but then you have to ask “why hasn’t someone come out with something like this yet?”
- People you know and trust say it’s a good idea
If the friends and associates within your circle can be honest enough to judge your idea on its merits (and not just by the fact they’re friends with its creator) then you can take that as a sign that it at least passes an initial phase of appeal.
- People you don’t know say it’s a good idea too
Friends are one thing, but if you can get strangers to say nice things about your idea via anonymous polls and surveys or through market research and product testing, it passes a second phase of public appeal. Friends are one thing, but this group is made up of sales prospects.
- The concept is easy to explain
If your idea is simple enough to explain to a potential user, and easy enough for that user to go out (and want to go out!) and share the idea with the people in their own sphere of influence — you’ve come up with an idea that is easy to spread via genuine word of mouth. That’s the kind of marketing you can’t buy no matter the size of your advertising budget.
- You’re passionate about the idea
It’s going to take a lot of hard work to put your idea into action. You’re going to encounter roadblocks and hurdles and critics and bad reviews and production mistakes and late shipments and a bunch of other problems too numerous to list here in this short article. If you’re heart isn’t 100% into this idea, then all of those gut-punches are going to make you curl up into a ball on the floor, cry uncle, and give up. If you are totally dedicated to see your idea made into a reality, those gut-punches are still going to put you on the floor in a fetal position — but you won’t cry uncle and you won’t give up.
If your concept passes all the criteria above, then there is definitely a chance that you’re on the right track to see it through to success. But you have to take action and move forward with the idea in order to make it a reality, or else you may fall victim to the danger Will Rogers warned us all about…