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[Video] How to Find a Business Idea – Part 2

Are you interested in starting a business, but frustrated in finding that <em>one</em> business idea that you can be confident about? Watch this video to narrow your business idea options and double your entrepreneurial courage. This is the second video in a two-part series.

Video Transcript:

Greetings Venture Superfly leaders, this is to introduce you to Part 2 of our video series called “How to Discover a Business Idea That You Can Be Passionate About.”

My name is John Benzick, and I am with Venture Superfly (as you probably know).

[ To access the template mentioned in this video, click HERE. ]

In the previous video, our goal was to come up with a short list of business ideas that matched your background, to better ensure your entrepreneurial success. The key idea there was that you have to be sustainably enthusiastic about your business idea, and your skills and knowledge have to fit the idea for you to succeed with your startup.

In this video, we will further assess your short list of business ideas, and rank them, according to key criteria, so you can come up with that one idea that you can test. The goal of this video is to help you converge on that one business idea.

So to help you assess and rank your short list of business ideas, in this video I’ll introduce you to a simple-to-use evaluation template, as shown here (which will also be available for you to download, underneath this video). I’ll provide a detailed example of how to use this template in a minute or two. This template guide asks you to rank, on a score of 1 to 10, your multiple idea options based on key criteria, including:

  • Feasibility (or the capability of your product or service being designed, produced and implemented)
  • Value (its ability to solve a real customer problem)
  • Viability (its ability to grow and generate profitable revenues)
  • Ability of your ability to satisfy your passion (because of you’re not enthusiastic about it, your business will suffer.
  • Ability of your idea to benefit from your skills (you have the skills that complement your business idea)
  • Ability of your idea to benefit from your industry knowledge (that you have the experience and know about the nature of the industry that you are pursuing)
  • Your business idea’s demand for financing (does your idea require a lot financing from outside sources, or not too much), and finally,
  • The uniqueness of your idea (versus competitive alternatives, how does it differ, in a valuable way, compared to other businesses in that field)

Alright, so let me quickly show you how to do this: the first step in the first column is to write down your top five business ideas from the previous video. In this example, we have a list of several business ideas, including:

  • Pet fashion blog
  • Organic beverages
  • College laundry service
  • And others

In the second column here, as mentioned previously, you rank the feasibility of each idea (you rank them 1 – 10, 10 being very feasible).

So let’s say you rank the feasibility of your “pet fashion blog” idea a 10 (you can see at the top here), since give today’s internet and blog technology, it’s pretty easy to launch a blog. And maybe you list “organic beverages” as a 7 since launching a consumer beverage product and sourcing it from a manufacturer is more difficult than launching a blog; and maybe you list “consumer electronics for seniors” an 8 (actually, that should probably be a 5), and then “college laundry service” you list as a 10 and finally “green garbage service” a 7.

These are just quick examples, not all thoroughly researched, just to show the mechanics of how this template works; you’ll have to do some research to determine the feasibility of all of your ideas – and rank them.

[ To access the template mentioned in this video, click HERE. ]

Now, since not all criteria that are listed horizontally, on this top row, are given the same importance, you are to multiply your ranking number, in this case 10, with the weight (or given level of importance) that is assigned to that criteria (shown at the bottom circle, here), in this case 0.15, or 15% importance, among all the criteria listed. This gives us a weighted ranking of 1.5.

Proceed to do the same ranking and weighting for all of your ideas in this column.

In the third column, rank the value of each business idea (again, the value is how well it solves a real customer problem) Do this for each idea (ranking the value of the idea, 1 – 10, 10 providing a high level of value). Additionally, multiply each of your ranking number with the weight given to the criteria.

So for our example here, we see that, given our research, we rank “organic beverages” and “green garbage service” as being ranked more highly with a 7 ranking, compared to the others with a lesser ranking. And of course when we multiply the ranking numbers by their weight (here, the .3), we get their adjusted ranking numbers here.

In the fourth column, for each idea, rank the viability/growth potential of your idea (1 – 10, 10 being very viable). And then do the same calculations you did in the previous columns.

In the fifth column, for each idea, rank your level of sustainable interest or passion for the concept (1 – 10, 10 being very passionate), do your calculations . . .

In the sixth column, for each idea, rank how well your skills match the needs required to succeed (1 – 10, 10 being very well matched).

In the seventh column, rank your knowledge of the industry (1 – 10, 10 being very high knowledge).

In the eighth column, for each idea, rank your ability to finance, or get financing for, the business (1 – 10, 10 being very easy to self-finance).

And,in the ninth column, for each idea, rank the concept's uniqueness (compared to the competition) (1 – 10, 10 being very unique).

When finished, total the numbers in each column and then rank the ideas with the highest number calculations.

In this example, we see that “College Laundry Service” elevates to the #1 idea. The #2 idea is shown to be “Organic Beverages.”

So, with the use of this template, and doing some extra research and calculations, you can now feel more confident in which business idea to test and pursue.

Now it’s your turn to determine your number one business idea! What will you come up with for your number one business idea? It’ll be exciting to find out!

To download a PDF of this template and to get more tips from Venture Superfly, click on the link below this video!

Good luck, and let me know how I can help!

[ To access the template mentioned in this video, click HERE. ]

Did you miss the first video in this 2-part series? Click HERE to watch it!

About the author, John

John Benzick is an entrepreneurship coach and the founder of Venture Superfly. He is a Tech Partner at the venture-capital fund of Matchstick Ventures, a Mentor with Techstars Retail accelerator, an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and (former CEO-in-Residence) at the University of Minnesota, and founder and owner in two consumer product businesses. Click the button below to learn more.

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