Have you ever thought of a brilliant business idea and gone all excited about how you were going to change the world?
Everybody’s gonna be impressed by my super idea! I’m gonna get so rich! I’m going to hire people to work for me!
Then, shortly after some brief research you would quickly give up because of one of the following reasons:
- The market is saturated, your thing wasn’t so unique after all.
- There is only one competitor out there doing the same thing, but he doesn’t seem to be doing too well. Your thing wasn’t so great after all.
- Your friend told you that your idea couldn’t possibly work because he, for sure, wouldn’t use your product.
- The costs to get started exceeded your expectations, you wouldn’t put so much skin in the game for such an uncertain outcome.
- It requires skills that you don’t have.
- Too much paperwork, accounting gives you headaches.
Well, I can relate to that because it has happened to me countless times.
Good Business Idea and Bad Business Idea
People say that a successful business is all about an excellent Execution, the core idea itself contributes much less. But guess what, picking the right Business Idea is also part of the Execution. So, it is extremely important to know whether or not your idea makes sense in the first place.
An example of a bad idea would be to sell sands in a desert.
Very obviously, nobody would buy your sands because there’s just all around the desert and it’s even free! But here is the thing… you are a sand expert, you know all their properties, the grain sizes, the colors, you know where to find them and above all, you love working with sands!
Then, what about exporting hourglasses made of the finest sands to a country where there’s not even a beach? Now, that sounds more like a viable concept. All you need now is to find a good wood crafter for making that first prototype.
If your idea fits in a (niche) market and you are willing to commit mid term or long term, then it is by definition a Good Business Idea!
Now, let’s change the analogy and bring it back to our online world. According to you, which of the following ideas are bad?
- A dating website for men and women with membership fees
- A FREE dating website for men and women
- A dating website for people who love indigo color
- A dating website for dogs and cats
- A dating website for divorced people
- A dating website for people who love latex
I bet you already know the answer! But still, let’s cover the basics.
(Over) Saturated Market
While single men and women love dating websites, the competition is just everywhere, the market is simply over saturated.
If your idea is about making a simple dating website with nothing new to the table, you’re at least 15 years behind the other competitors in terms of marketing and notoriety. So I’d definitely say that Answer #1 is a bad idea.
When the market is saturated, you can sometimes change the business model and make some space for your product. Our answer #2 is the free version of answer #1. Free is an extremely powerful weapon, you just need to know that the targeted customers are from a different segment and there are nonetheless many ways to monetize your audience.
To name a few, you could put ads or use affiliate links when your traffic is big enough. Answer #2 is in between good and bad, because there are still tons of free dating websites out there. Typing “Free dating websites” on Google should be enough to convince you that there are many competitors.
Whether or not your product is free, you need to find a niche in order to make it viable.
Lack of demand, no market
Now that you have decided to dig deeper in order to find a niche, you still need to make sure that it makes sense and that there’s a market for your product. Anyone should know that Answer #3 absolutely makes no sense because most people would not date someone because of his/her favorite color, right? Even if such people do exist, I bet the market size would be extremely small.
While I don’t own cats or dogs and neither am I divorced (Answers #4 and #5), I can tell that those ideas can make sense. Whether or not there’s a real demand on such topics, I don’t really know for sure, but there are ways to find that out. I’ll cover the techniques in another post.
Stick with your expertise
People tend to forget that products are just specific solutions to specific problems. If you think you should be an expert of dating websites because you always knew how to date since you were a toddler, then you couldn’t be more wrong!
Experts are people who have faced and solved many problems in their domains, they know the pain points and they know how to overcome them. Because of that, they know how to offer the proper solutions to the problems.
Our dating website expert should be someone who has extensively used online dating services and struggled with them in many ways.
Here are the takeaways when it comes to finding the right online business idea for you :
- your idea should make sense to people
- your product needs to solve a problem
- you have to find a niche
- stick with your expertise
Did I forget something? Oh… you mean Answer #6? I’ll leave that to you, let me know in the comment section whether it is a Good Idea or a Bad Idea!