By Brett Krkosska
Behind every successful business you'll find at least one great idea. For most
people, the definition of a successful business is one which is profitable, and a
profitable business is built upon ideas that have been properly researched.
Here are some steps you can take to
research your idea and turn it into a profitable business:
1. Make a list of the reasons why you want to go into business for yourself. Look at your
list critically. Does starting your own business help you realize these things?
2. Make a list of the things you like to do with your time. Success can be elusive if
you're not truly excited about your business. What are your interests and hobbies? What
are you good at? What do other people say you are good at? This list represents broad
business models which will give you the greatest joy over time. Decide which item(s) on
your list you would most like to develop into a business.
3. Focus on filling a niche. It is your expertise, uniquely practiced and applied within
your business field, that creates your niche in the market. Throughout the research stage
of your idea, pay close attention to how your business can fill a niche.
4. Talk to friends or family who own or work in a similar business. Get their input on
your idea. What needs improved on? Why should it be improved and how? Talk to business
owners in neighboring towns - so you won't be perceived as a competitor - and get their
input on your idea. These people will likely have insights you never considered.
5. Participate in discussion forums. This is a great way to take the pulse
of your potential customers. You can also see trends, get feedback, and
establish working relationships with like-minded people.
6. Evaluate the demand for your product or service. You need to understand the pace and
direction of your industry. This understanding alerts you to shortcomings with your idea
and helps you channel your energies correctly. It also helps you approach your business
with innovation and vision.
For a snapshot of demand by Internet users for your product of service, try the search
tool at Overture.com. It shows how often people are searching for terms related to your
You should also analyze the available research data. There are several professional
organizations which gather data on a wide variety of subjects. Here a few starting points: