You’ve come up with what you believe is a pretty good business idea, and if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you can’t stop thinking about the strategies you’ll use to grow this business. You’ve got a gut feeling this could be something big, but you’re just not sure. 

When starting a business, regardless of whether it’s an already existing concept, a franchise with proven processes, or a brand new idea, there is no way to guarantee that your business will succeed. According to data released by Fundera, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, 30% fail in their second year, and 50% within 5 years of opening. Although it’s not guaranteed, there are a few signs you can look for in your business idea to indicate if it has what it takes to succeed. 

It Solves a Problem 

As a business owner, it’s vital that you keep in mind that you are in the business of serving your customers or clients. With that being said, you have to solve a problem or make their lives easier. Although they do it in different ways, both taxi cabs and Uber solve the problem of individuals needing to commute throughout cities, and grocery stores make it easier for us to get access to the food and basic life essentials we need. Regardless of how old or new, big or small, old school or modern these businesses are, they all solve a problem and help improve their customers’ lives.  

You Can Invest in Your Business Idea

Thanks to the rapid pace at which technology has evolved, it’s now more affordable than ever to start a business. Websites and software that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build 15 years ago can now be purchased or built for a few hundred dollars. If your business idea is an e-commerce or digital service idea, websites like Themeforest and Shopify offer prebuilt websites with amazing features. You can search for a phrase such as “grocery delivery” and look through tons of prebuilt, already designed grocery delivery websites. There are also platforms like Canva that allow you to produce quality graphics, whether a logo, a brochure, or a business card, without extensive graphic design skills. Canva allows you to pick from thousands of templates and customize it for your business.

DIY not for you? You don’t have to do it alone. You can also use platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to find affordable, skilled workers around the world that can help you with web design, graphic design, marketing, video editing, and much more. The Digital Economy Program here at Business Link provides free digital transformation and eCommerce guidance and support to small businesses in Alberta. Learn more about the program here.

It’s Scalable

Indeed defines scalability as a business’s ability to perform well as its workload expands. A scalable business has the potential to grow quickly without sacrificing the quality of its service or product. Although it is possible to have a good business that doesn’t scale or grow every year, scalability is an excellent component to look for in a good business idea.

Virtual Gurus, is a local company here in Alberta, is the perfect example of a scalable business. Virtual Gurus is a trusted source for virtual assistants across North America. They can confidently increase the market share without their service and quality of work being negatively affected.

Your Idea Has an Existing Market That’s Still Growing

When thinking about starting a new business, you want to ensure that there are people looking for the service or product you would like to offer. There are a few ways you can get this done on your own. You can try a quick search on Google trends. This will show you how many individuals worldwide or within a certain city are searching for a service or product like yours. If you would like a more in-depth market research report, reach out to our team at Business Link and ask about the market research services we offer. Our Market Research team has decades of experience helping people validate their business idea and access the best databases in North America. Request a free consultation today!

It’s Profitable 

So you’ve determined that your business idea solves a problem. You can find the funds needed to invest in it. It’s scalable and has many customers interested in using a service or product like it. But does it have the most important component all successful businesses need?  

Can your business idea be executed profitably? Profit can be explained asthe financial gain abusiness receives when its revenue is more than its costs and expenses. Ensuring your business is profitable requires creativity, sound business management, and good financial management. You can download our free Small Business Financial Guide to learn financial management concepts every business owner should know, and for resource such as a balance sheet template, income statement template, information on preparing a financial statement and much more. These are resources you can use while planning and once you have launched your business to help you maintain accurate financials on the road to profitability.

Differentiated & Unique

You can differentiate your business simply by making it more accessible and easier for customers to use it. How can you make the same experience or service another business is already offering much more accessible and enjoyable for your market? Doing this will help you to differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are a few local examples.

Goodlawyer, a start up here in Alberta, bridges the gap between Canadian entrepreneurs and lawyers. They differentiate themselves by making their services easily accessible, and pricing (which is usually a hard topic to discuss when it comes to finding a lawyer) very transparent. Learn more about how Goodlawyer can help your small business.

Instamek, a mobile mechanic business founded in Edmonton, is not the first mechanic company around. They are simply one of the first to offer mobile mechanic services. They will come and meet you wherever you are. At work? No problem. At the grocery store? They’ll be there. How can you make the same experience or service another business is already offering much more accessible and enjoyable for your market? Doing this will help you to differentiate yourself from the competition.  

You’re Passionate About the “Why” Behind Your Business

Being a business owner won’t always be easy. Pursuing a business venture you are passionate about is crucial. You’ll likely have to work on your business for a few years before you see a profit. In an article released by Forbes, research shows that startup founders and new business owners can spend up to 80 hours per week working on their business. According to an article released by Freshbooks, on average, it will take a new business 18 to 24 months to see a profit return. Yes, the main purpose of your business is to make money and return a profit, but it will take some time for that to happen. Passion for what you do, and the “why” behind your business, can motivate you to work on it without needing immediate success and profits. You will likely face many “No’s” and failures along the way. What will drive you to keep going anyways? 

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About the author: Darrio Dean

Darrio is a marketing enthusiast with a passion for copywriting and business. Darrio has been working as a marketer for over 7 years, taking on content creation for companies throughout Canada and The Caribbean. He brings a lot of experience and unique perspectives on marketing and business. Darrio is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs grow through his current role as a Marketing Coordinator here at Business Link.