Many people have great ideas, but very few are able to transform these ideas into successful and profitable businesses. This is often because there are far more factors at play than simply having a great idea! It’s also the reason why it’s so important to spend time doing the necessary groundwork and researching your business ideas before investing too much time, energy and money into them. Thorough research will help keep your expectations in check, while also uncovering any potential challenges or potholes in your thinking. But how do you go about researching an idea? Here are four quick and easy things you can do to help you evaluate your big idea.
1. Do a price point check
Regardless of your product or service, identifying the right price point is vital to successfully starting up any business. By figuring out how much can you charge, you’ll quickly learn how much you need to sell to make a viable and profitable business. But figuring out your price point can be tricky. If priced too high people won’t buy it, but if you ask for too little then your profit margin slides or people may presume that your product is poor quality. To figure out your perfect price, you need to first factor in all your costs and then see how you can maximise your margins while still remaining attractive to customers. It’s also a good idea to look at what competitors are charging, as this can serve as a good guideline to what your future customers may be prepared to spend.
2. Learn about the need
The best way to learn about the needs of your target audience is to simply ask them by putting together a focus group of relevant people. The point of this exercise is to figure out whether there is in fact a demand for your business idea, how people feel about existing products currently available within your market, and how much they would be prepared to spend on your product or service. Reach out to friends and see if they would be willing to help you test out a business idea and provide some feedback. Your goal should be to put together a broad group of people, instead of simply focusing on close friends and family who are more likely to give you a biased response. By sending out a quick and straightforward email survey you can gain valuable insights from honest responses. Social media means that you now have access to a far greater network of people than you previously would have, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and/or advice via a status update too.
3. Understand your competition
A great way to help develop and improve your business plan is to analyse your competitors. If you can figure out what they are doing wrong, you can adjust your business to cater to your customer’s needs by providing a superior product or service. A good starting point is to read customer reviews of similar competitor businesses. For this exercise make sure you focus on the very bad reviews, as these are likely to give you the most insights and guide you on where you can improve, or what you should avoid.
4. Do a SWOT analysis
Although it may seem obvious, few things are more beneficial to researching your business idea than conducting a good old-fashioned SWOT analysis. A SWOT is an analysis of the strengths of your business idea, product or service; the weaknesses of your product or service, and potential opportunities and threats to the industry. By gaining a greater understanding of the strengths and flaws of your business idea, looking at everything from product development and cost, to external factors such as foreign exchange rates, politics and market trends, you’re sure to gain a better understanding of whether your product or service is likely to become a success in the current environment.
Now you have four ways to get better understanding if you have a viable business idea or now. Next, maybe some extra feedback and support is of interest? If so come over to our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood and say hi. It's a group full of likeminded women on their journey to create a life and career or business they love. Hope to see you there.
Having the right answers is important, but having the ability to ask the right questions, well that is invaluable. If you want to be a advance your career, find balance in life, get an employee to perform or simply helping your kids to become the best they can be learning how to ask powerful questions is right up there with the most vital skills you need to have. So, what is a powerful question? In short, it’s simply a question that promotes deeper thinking. Whether you’re trying to encourage better performance from yourself, or those around you, it’s a good idea to start practising the use of powerful questions in your everyday work life and personal relationships. Here are seven tips to help you develop this invaluable skill.
ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS
Asking questions that are easily answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ don’t create any conversation and rarely yield any results. Rather opt for open-ended questions that invite reflection and start a discussion, as these are far more likely to help develop interesting insights. Questions that promote deeper thinking and accountability are also vital to promoting personal growth. Spend some time thinking about these questions in advance, to ensure that you get the most out of your question time.
GET BEHIND THE ASSUMPTIONS
Every decision is based on assumptions and if you don’t understand what these are, you could end up making a bad decision. Your logic may be sound, but if it’s based on faulty assumptions, your conclusions are bound to be wrong! That’s why it’s always important to dig deep, asking questions that reflect on what is being assumed about a situation or scenario before deciding. In a business situation, you might want to extend this question to your colleagues or employees too. Remember that it’s always important to get both (or all) sides of any story before drawing conclusions.
Keep the questions coming. Rather than commenting on every question you ask, try to follow-up your initial question with other questions that dig deeper or that relate back to their previous answers. This means that if or when you do offer some advice, it is likely to be far more informed and worthwhile. Remember to put your judgements aside and simply be curious to find out their thoughts and feelings, rather than putting your own spin on things.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Always remember to keep your questions, short, simple and straightforward. You don’t want people worrying about deciphering your question, when they should be spending the time thinking about their answers.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH SILENCE
In today’s world, it has become a natural reaction to feel uncomfortable with silence. But when asking powerful questions, it is this quiet time after the question has been asked that promotes deeper thinking that leads to real insights. When asking these questions, you’ll need to actively refrain from filling silence and rather embrace it as time to practise your listening skills. Don’t bother speaking any words of encouragement or rephrasing the question, simply look on with supportive eyes and wait for them to come up with their own answers.
HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THEIR OWN INSIGHTS
The best leaders ask rather than tell. By asking the right questions you can encourage people to discover the answers for themselves, something which is far more impactful and memorable than simply being told the answer. By questioning people’s statements, they will be able to come to their own realisations, while encouraging them to get to the heart of the matter. In this way, you’re able to encourage people to find their own and perhaps unique solutions.
Not only does note-taking show the person you’re speaking with that you respect them, but it also allows you the opportunity to look back on the discussion and discover new questions that you haven’t yet thought about asking.
These are a few things that you can do to learn how to ask powerful questions. Would you like someone to practice on? Come and join our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood, a community full of likeminded women on a journey to create a life and career they love. Come over and say hi!
Have a wonderful day.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.