Why some business ideas don't work

There are loads of great ideas out there, but sadly a lot of them just don't cut it as businesses.  Here are the main reasons why:

  • Killer costs
  • Labour losses
  • Market mistakes
  • Not unique enough

Killer costs

If your costs are too high, you'll never get your business up and running, let alone make profit.  High costs are also a big turn-off for investors.  Always look for ways to save money.  Budget for everything to cost the most it could - that way you'll get less nasty surprises.

  • Always look for ways to save
  • Over-estimate to avoid nasty surprises

Labour losses

If either your business or product manufacturing process are too labour intensive, you're doomed.  Time is money.  You're not going to be able to afford hundreds of staff, so simpler processes are always preferable.

  • Avoid intensive labour processes

Market mistakes

Know your target market better than the back of your hand.  If it's too small or too disparate, it'll be impossible to shift enough product to make profit.  Lots of businesses flounder because they simply can't find a revenue stream - this is particularly a problem online.  Do your research.  If people don't really want your product, you won't get stocked.  And your price needs to be spot-on - no one's interested in an unreasonably priced product from a new business.

  • Know your market inside out
  • Make sure that there'll be plenty of sustained demand
  • Get your price right

Not unique enough

You can't copyright an idea, so make sure that whatever you're doing can't be copied by competitors.  Patent your devices, copyright intellectual property, and if your USP is a special offer or service make sure that it absolutely cannot be beaten.  Remember that bigger competitors have much better resources to knock off an idea cheaply and quickly.  Whatever you do, don't create a product that's already out there unless it has it's own very distinctive USPs.  As always, thorough market research is imperative.

  • Make sure you can't be copied
  • Don't copy another product
  • Market research

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