So I was recently getting caught up on watching all of season 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm and I noticed a ridiculous invention – the car periscope. It’s not so much that some people wouldn’t find it cool as much as that they’d never in a million years be able to get approval for such a thing.
After all, this periscope would be sticking out of a car all the time and easily clip power lines, telephone lines and traffic lights. Not to mention the idea of distracted driving! If you thought talking on the phone while driving was bad, just imagine glancing into a periscope to see what’s going on 300 feet away instead of paying attention to whatever is in front of you.
Still, this ridiculous concept (which was obviously created for the comic value of trying to make references to the Harrison Ford movie the Fugitive), got me thinking. How would you know if your business idea sucks? Well, I did a bit of research and found four good tests to do to decide for yourself if you have a dud or a great idea:
What Makes You So Special?
If your idea is truly a good one, it’s likely that it’s been done already. So you’re probably just trying a new spin on an old concept. The first question then that you need to ask yourself is, what makes your idea so special? Why would people choose you from amongst the thousands of others who are doing the exact same thing? If you can’t answer this question, then you don’t have a business idea. You have a dud.
Is This Your Passion?
I’m always writing on this blog that whatever business you decide to start in order to make money online, you need to find your passion. What is it that you love? If you’re not passionate about it, go and take a regular job instead of starting a business. Starting a business is incredibly hard work and most people fail. The ones who succeed are truly driven because it’s something they genuinely believe in.
What If You Threw a Party and No One Came?
In other words, does anyone care about your business concept? Is it something others would be passionate about? For example: I’ve mentioned in the past that someone may be absolutely passionate about collecting different forms of lint. Maybe they like to study them and see what makes them tick. That’s great – but it’s not a viable online (or offline business).
After all, how many other people do you really think care about collecting lint? So ask yourself honestly if there is a market for your idea or if it’s something you love but which others will scratch their heads and wonder about.
Don’t Give Up If You Really Believe
Listen, as much as I’m trying to offer practical advice here for our potential customers (who after all will hopefully hire us to do SEO work), I know that wacky ideas sometimes do make money. A good example was something I saw on Groupon a couple of months ago. It was an electric soap dispenser. Basically, instead of pressing down on the spout, you’d put your hand under the thing and a motion detector would activate the soap dispenser. This wasn’t meant for a business either – it was a $30 item intended for the home.
I’ve got to admit that I thought this was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen. I mean really, are we that lazy that we can’t press down on the spout? Surely this was a business idea which sucked. I did a bit of checking though and learned that tens of thousands of these crazy things had been sold. I guess there are times when even a sucky business idea can work.