A Guide to Evaluating Your Startup Idea

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Is your startup going to work out? To find that out, you need to do some evaluation. What problem are you solving and how are you going to test success? Here are some ideas.

If you have a great idea for a startup, you’re ahead of a lot of other people. Until you start wondering, is it really a great idea? How feasible would it be for you to create a startup based on this idea and have it be successful?

This sense of anxiety over whether or not a startup will be successful and predicting the success of a startup can cause a lot of people to avoid taking a chance. They fear that they’ll fail, so they just forget about what could be a big idea.

If you have an idea, and you think you could take it to the next level, the following are some tips you can use to evaluate the concept and see what the likelihood of it being successful are.

Are You Solving a Problem and Is It the Right Problem?

If you have an idea for a startup, you may already know that it’s important that the idea serves as a way to solve a problem people have. Any successful startup should fill a void of some type, or find a way to solve a problem better than any existing solution can.

However, a lot of the startups that tend to be most successful solve a problem before the vast majority of people even realize they have the problem.

What this means is that if people are already articulating a problem and they’ve found the words to describe what they feel is missing, it may be too late for your idea.

A lot of the best businesses uncover problems that maybe even the customer themselves don’t know exist, and if your startup idea isn’t necessarily doing that, it may be a deterrent to its success.

Conduct Interviews

A great way to go beyond the basics and get a real feel for how people might perceive your idea is to conduct interviews. You can do this in different ways, including paying people a small amount of money to give you feedback in an online setting.

What might happen as you’re doing this is that you might discover your initial idea isn’t as great as you thought it was, but you might end up honing in on something else through the interview process.

Start with Small Tests

Sometimes you might think your startup idea is amazing, and you may have friends and family agreeing with you, but they’re biased and they also represent a very limited audience.

To keep it simple in the beginning and see how viable your idea might be, consider creating a landing page. This is relatively inexpensive, and once you do that, you can create an Adwords campaign on Google to a certain group. This can help you start gathering data on a very small scale and start seeing if there is real interest in your idea. This is especially helpful if you already have a product prototype available.

Use an Existing Evaluation Model

There are different models available that you can use as a guide to evaluate your startup idea or concept.

For example, there is a model called 7+1. The 7+1 model was developed by Dr. Patrick Berbon, and the seven dimensions in this model are market pain, solution, business model, team, timing, scalability, and capital efficiency.

This model was created to assess venture projects, and people who have used it often find that it works well as a way to determine what problems exist in your current idea and also as a framework for presentations to be used during fundraising.

Look At Past Failures

You may think that you’ve come up with a completely new startup idea because as far as you can tell, it doesn’t currently exist. That doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried it and ultimately failed.

You should do research into ideas similar to your own to see if they have been tried and they haven’t worked out. This can help you know if your idea is worth it, and it can help you determine if maybe your idea could be a good one, but with some changes made.

Finally, you have to look beyond your idea itself and think bigger when you’re in the process of evaluating viability. You’ll need to think about whether or not there is a market for it, and if so, how big is that market? You also need to look at things even larger than that—for example, where is the economy heading and how could that affect your idea? Will changing trends heavily impact your idea?