Julian’s Business Tips: New Year, New Business Idea?

Julian’s Business Tips: New Year, New Business Idea?

I’m going to begin this year with a series of articles, aimed at startups, but also thought-provoking for established businesses.

Lots of people review their lives at this time of year, and many will be toying with the idea of starting a new business.

Is that right for you? Are you energetic and passionate? Firstly, because you will need to drive every stage of this process, and secondly, because people buy people and they will spot your passion (or lack of it) immediately.

Is your business idea right? Remember, your first idea is not necessarily your best – it’s just your first.

One millionaire entrepreneur said that the secret was to ‘fail often, and fail fast’ – you should have lots of ideas, but ruthlessly evaluate each and move on if they are not viable.

Is yours viable? Ask yourself, ‘Will somebody buy my product, and if so, who?’

And don’t just ask family and friends – they want to please us. You need to ask other people too. Don’t be afraid of negative responses, because every one is vital feedback – use them to shape your prototype, or to realise it is a non-starter.

Also ask your prospects what they might pay for it – can you make it for that price?

It’s important that you are realistic with everything here – particularly the price, and the costs. One of the most common mistakes is to cheat with these numbers just to keep your dream alive. And that can prove very expensive later on!

I remember James Caan, one of the original ‘Dragons’ saying, ‘If your business idea isn’t viable, notch it up to experience and move on. Don’t drag it out – don’t procrastinate failure!’

But it’s OK to wait until next month, because then I’m going to write about you and your team.