Trying out different business ideas

There are several and different steps involved in going out on your own, and that of choosing to be an entrepreneur. I abridge this topic a bit in a previous blog post about starting off on your own (“Starting off on your own, the short story”).

In this post, I will talk a bit about trying out different business ideas as an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of an entrepreneur is:

“one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”

One key phrase here is assuming risk for a business. Or several. Taking risks entails taking on costs to validate ideas, as well as the time you set aside for these ventures.

Aside from having my own consultancy business (the “being my own company” bit with Hvitravnur AB), I am also developing and testing different business ideas (some of which you can find on my brand page,  Aside from creating value propositions, testing out ideas with affected client segments and talking to possible business partners I also need to develop so called minimum viable products, “prototypes” of the services or platforms I am working on, testing these ideas business validity.

Trying different ideas – the different steps

Some choose to jump straight to creating a business around their idea, believing strongly in its viability and jump straight to selling and marketing, putting their money 100% into this one idea. Nothing wrong with that, and you are most definitely taking on risk doing that – making you a full fledged entrepreneur and true “hustler”!

For my part, sense I shifted into being an entrepreneur in the beginning of 2021 I have focused on vetting and testing various ideas, and to validating these. The ideas that I deem not to be viable or which I cannot find backing for (team members or funding) to develop further are discarded or put on the back-burner.

The first step in going from an idea to a testable service or product is to research of course, to see if there is a value in the market:

  • How big is the market for your service or product in SEK/EUR/USD? How many percentage points could you possibly take from this market, and is it enough to feed you? Is it enough for possible investors to back you?
  • Who are the competitors? Main segment / type of clients?
  • Sales channels? How much will it cost to develop this idea?
  • What is your value proposition?

As a next step, your research should lead to a yes or no answer as to whether you should move forward in validating your idea. The validation phase might require you to create a so called minimum viable product (MVP) – this could be everything from a landing page, to a barely functional app to a mood board.

Validation can require you to book meeting with possible clients, business partners or possible users to show them your MVP / idea and get their feedback – you save yourself a lot of time, money and pain by getting feedback early.

If the above steps lead you get the green lights in moving forward, you would be ready to possibly investing full speed in the idea – be it by yourself, with a team or by you handing over/hiring someone to implement it.