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What to do with your great business idea

Are you simply following a fad or blazing the trail for the next big thing?
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When out shopping or dining, look for the long queues and you would find business concepts that have made it, or so some people would think. Smart entrepreneurs, however, know that long queues must happen frequently enough and long enough for the business to endure the test of time and competition.

Aside from using the obvious gauge of foot traffic, try these market research alternatives to know if what you have is a fad or a sustainable business idea:


• Go on “business-spotting trips” to places frequented by your target market. For example, a lot of investors go to Manila and Jakarta because customer behavior and infrastructure in these two cities are comparable. You can also go to places known for a particular business, like Taiwan for milk tea and electronics or Hong Kong for fashion.

• Check out websites that feature current business trends like Trendwatching.com and ThinkWithGoogle.com. Not only do these sites offer free market research, they are also updated regularly and covers emerging global and local concepts. For more realtime results, use Google Trends.

• In one of her columns for Entrepreneur USA, marketing consultant Isabella Trebond suggests offering your business concept as a marketing study for university and graduate students. Talk to professors of business courses and ask to share your insights and motivations behind your business concept to their students who could then test its feasibility.

Trim your list of business ideas by focusing on the top three that you want to pursue, and create a one-paragraph business concept for each. The good thing about writing down a business concept first, instead of a full-blown business plan, is it’s less daunting and is an effective first step to starting your business.

A business concept could be a 200-word statement describing the main idea and why it’s better than those of competitors. Discuss the target market of the product or service,and the business model that will make it profi table. The location of the venturemay be pinpointed, too. Finally, project the profitability prospects of the business concept. Expanding each of the concepts into a formal business plan or not depends on your resources, mainly time and energy.

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