Author: Sudha Chandran – content editor, startupbuddyin
“The Best Entrepreneurs Don’t Come Up With Great Ideas, They Solve Market Needs,” reads the title of a Blogpost (dated May 5th, 2013) on Forbes.com. An interesting title indeed, and – perhaps at first glance – one that seems to contradict most people’s traditional understanding of an entrepreneur’s role.
It is generally believed that an original, innovative or unusual idea is imperative to making a success of a new business startup. That’s because the well-established ideas would most likely have already been exploited by successful businesses, leaving very little room for new entrants. A struggling entrepreneur with limited funds and experience, would then be unable to compete with established names, unless of course his business idea envisaged something totally new, and hitherto-unexplored. Right?
Wrong! Like the blog mentioned above, experience proves that novel and innovative ideas may not be the essential components that define startup success. A brilliantly original idea for a product or service may sound truly exciting on paper, but what is the point of investing in it, without a proven market need? Doing that would be akin to launching an upmarket brand of fabulous beachwear in the heart of Antarctica or serving a delicious dessert that you have spent hours perfecting, to a group of diabetic dinner guests!
The important question then, that every entrepreneur must ask is: “Is there a need out there for my product or service?” If the answer is ‘no,’ then perhaps it is time to either re-think your business idea or identify an actual need that you can fulfill.
And do not just stop at asking family and friends. Entrepreneurs generally run business ideas by trusted loved ones, with the confidence that family and friends will not intentionally harm you. But do keep in mind this is a biased audience that is already partial to you. They will most likely withhold any negative feedback in order not to hurt you, leaving you none the wiser about actual market requirements.
If you intend to make your startup venture a success, it is imperative that the business idea is tested and examined by unbiased professionals, and preliminary research conducted to ensure that there is a market need for your product/ service. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs skip this crucially important first step, convinced about the brilliance of their novel ideas.
Also read UK-based Business Advice Expert Contributor, Eric Brandenburg article on the crucial significance of market research for a startups: why-market-research-is-so-important-for-a-startup-business.thtml
Identifying a definite need is only the first step in market research. As an entrepreneur, it is almost certain that you will be on the look out for finance to develop and grow your business. Robust research that not only identifies a definite market need, but also backs your claim with appropriate industry figures, is key to attracting the interest of the angel investor or venture capitalist. Before an investor decides to invest his money, he would certainly want to know if you have invested your time and effort, and are equipped with in-depth information about everything related to your business idea and aware of the potential risks and challenges.
Check out a related article on www.go4funding.com which highlights the significance of market research: Market-Reserach-Is-Key-To-Developing-A-New-Business.aspx
Indeed if conducted accurately, market research can be the most powerful weapon in an entrepreneur’s arsenal. In addition to identifying a market need, it enables a startup business to gain a thorough understanding of the industry, ascertain the technical skills required to run a sustainable business and helps recognize possible risks associated with the business venture. Needless to emphasize, this assists in minimizing risks and enables the entrepreneur to reach out directly to customers to ascertain their feedback.