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How Do You Evaluate An Idea For Business ?

How Do You Evaluate An Idea For Business ?

ravi-kikanRavi Kikan
Ravi is a Mentor at MentorEdge ( A CIIE- IIM-A initiative), A Knowledge driven enterprise. He is a Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector and B2B Marketing Expert.

As an entrepreneur you might be hounded by a million ideas for business but actually how many of them would be worth it ?

This will keep hounding you till you actually make your ideas turn into a product or service and put them into use.

Some of the business ideas may not be completely viable however some of them may have great potential.


Now the biggest issue and challenge is :

How Do You Evaluate An Idea for Business

There is no fixed answer to this however if you are a little proactive and can listen to some friends, family or serial entrepreneurs…chances are that your ideas can be evaluated, tested and put into use.

My personal experience is testing and building a MVP. Once you test the MVP with the actual customers you can evaluate your idea specially if you are a product company.

Once a fair amount of traction is done you can populate and market it in a bigger and broader way.

Andrea Sica asked this amazing question in Startup Specialist Group on LinkedIn and got some amazing insights. Some of top line responses in nutshell :

  1. Ed Zimmer added “Quick” evaluation is worthless – might as well just flip a coin. Real evaluation: First, define who would buy what you’re thinking of. Then, if B2C or B2B, find a way of meeting them – in-person (conferences, trade shows, cold calling, etc.). If B2C, primary source are manufacturers, distributors, retailers selling to your prospects, and meet them the same way. Good approach, “I’m thinking about doing such-and-such. What do you think?”. And LISTEN. You’ll soon know whether the idea is worth pursuing – and if it is, you’ll gain a whole new light on what it is you need to pursue.
  2. Zile Soilihi added “Try the business model canvas approach” which is efficient even you don’t have a bm yet.It helps you, ask the questions.. What is my “idea” value proposition ? What are my customers and how do i engage them?..etc.How do i generate money ? etc.
  3. Forget spreadsheets , if you don’t like them , forget BM canvas if you don’t like it ! But at the end of the day you need to put figures somewhere, you need some data to bring your idea to the market. Period.
  4. When you have your customers working with you, there’s no need for deep evaluation, iterations and structuring. Have them test your prototype and give you feedback.
  5. Building an MVP and testing with the close knit customers you may have and get the product tested and build it up. Then you can later reach the markets at large and plan your GTM.

So how do you propose to evaluate a business idea ?

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Ravi Kikan


Guest Columnist at Inc42, Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector, B2B Marketing Expert, Mentor
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