3 Secrets to a Great Idea for Your Startup Business

eric schiffer

I get asked a lot when I meet fans who enjoy my books or blog, “what makes a great startup business idea?” Interestingly there are various factors that you must consider, but there really is a great startup business idea algorithm to the process, one that if you use, you can increase the probabilities of your success!

1. First, is there a market?

This means will someone write a check. I see far too many people spending months of planning and time when they have not done the work of going to the most likely people who would be clients to get a sense of how likely they would be to write a check. I have seen every excuse in the book for why they don’t, but many times the excuses arise from two things that must change to win:

Fear and Ego

Fortune favors the brave, always has and will. And since facts are critical in business, you must be willing to reach out to John at purchasing, or Ken the CEO of the Pharma Company at the appropriate time and collect facts about their real interest, and their willingness to buy from you – and not worry if they don’t want it. And we know where the worry comes from, because if they don’t want it (in its current form!) their feedback can affect the other biggest obstacle: ego. Ego is your perceived view of yourself and your success. Unless you are willing to have that get beat up repeatedly, on the road to success, then you are likely to be stuck. Fighters get beat up on their road to becoming champions, so do entrepreneurs. Great winners are able to detach their ego in a Buddhist sense, and crush it in order to collect the truth, so they can mastermind a solution to overcome any market acceptance roadblock.

So the question is who is your market and who are the probable check writers and if presented with your idea would they be likely to write a check? If not, what would it take for you to change or alter about your product or service to make that happen?

2. Does it change the game, make things better than what exists today, or add greater value to your target market?

To win, your product or service should be able to increase the value, be different or change the way the industry receives their product or service in a meaningful way.   What do you need to add or take away to your product or service to make one or all of those things happen?

3. Does it have an unfair competitive advantage?

The category killing services and products have some special ingredient that can’t be copied and or perfectly replicated by the competition to allow them to have a seeming unfair advantage against the competition.  The way to make this happen is to differentiate your brand as much as possible, to create unique intellectual property or processes that provide meaningful value to your customers, and continue to stack them on top of each other to the point where replication by a competitor becomes virtually impossible.  What more can you add to your product/service to make it more unique, valuable, and meaningful to your prospects and further increase your unfair advantage?

Tell me: What other topics would you like to have written about on this blog? 



4 Responses to “3 Secrets to a Great Idea for Your Startup Business”

  1. Karen Timea

    Is there any chance that an idea just isn’t good enough or should this exercise still be done. Thanks, and LOVED the article.

  2. Kenneth Smith

    Exciting to hear how much more I can add to the equation, My biggest concern is figuring out how to do it all and not overspend. Easier said than done


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