Behind every entrepreneur is a great idea, something you can use as the foundation of a great startup. However, many ideas only look good on paper. Once in action, they actually do not work that well, leading to wasted resources and a dead dream. Here are six signs that you should reconsider your supposedly world-changing product concept:
1. Investors Aren’t Interested
Fundraising is a big part of running a startup. If you don’t have enough money, you can’t have a successful company. You need to make the rounds and present your startup’s products to potential investors. While not all of them will say yes, you should still realistically get a few to agree to your pitch.
However, if you find that absolutely no one is willing to give your startup a shot, you need to go back to the drawing board and find out if it is because of your product. Your product may not be the only thing they consider, but it is definitely a factor in an investor’s decision making.
2. Suppliers Won’t Extend Credit
You know who has an absolutely shock-proof disaster detector? The credit manager at your supplier or distributor, especially one who has been in the role for a decade or two. They’ve seen companies in your position come and go and they are accountable if your failure winds up sticking their employers with a big bill.
If you speak with several financially healthy suppliers and they won’t extend you credit to develop your new product line, it may be time to pause and rethink your assumptions.
3. The Value of Your Product is Based on a Flavor of the Month
Fads and flavors of the month are great for existing companies. They represent a critical opportunity for a business to reach their audience through something they are clearly interested in. However, while good for a marketing campaign, a fad is a poor foundation for a startup.
Take a look at your product idea. Is it something that solves a problem people will always have, or does that problem vanish after a few months, when the latest trend inevitably melts away? If it is the latter, your product is unviable.
4. The Idea Has Failed Before
While it is certainly possible to come up with a never-before-made product, it is far more likely that whatever you thought up has been done before. That is not a mark against your entrepreneurial mind. That is just history. However, that does mean you have a bit of research to do.
Any confidence you have in your startup’s product should be based on history. Do your research and see if someone has tried either a similar product or tried to solve the same problem. If the previous endeavor failed, you need to make sure that it’s not due to the product. If it is, you need to either adjust the product to protect against the same failure or scrap it entirely.
5. The Product is Too Expensive
Everything seems to be in place. The product is sound, it has a market, and investors seem willing to give it a shot. However, there is another hurdle, and that’s your target market’s wallet. A lot of problems can be solved simply by throwing money at it, but your audience may simply not have the kind of income that will allow them to purchase your offering.
Do a few manufacturing projections and see how much your products will cost. Compare that to the average income and spending money from your target market. If they don’t match up or consume much of the theoretical customer’s budget, your product might not be viable.
6. No One Wants It
You are going to come up with a lot of interesting product ideas as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, just because something is interesting doesn’t mean that someone will want to buy it. Brand, marketing, catchy jingles: none of it will matter if no one will actually want to spend their hard earned cash on your offering.
Do not mistake the lack of a market for an uneducated market. Sometimes, you have an idea that the market isn’t ready for. In that case, all you will need is to start educating them about a problem they did not know they even had. However, more often than not, the situation falls firmly into the former context. Your product, no matter how much you love it, might not have an audience that even likes it.
While these are far from the only signs that your product idea won’t work, they should serve as bright and clear warning signs. The good news is that you will have plenty of ideas to work with as an entrepreneur. You just need to figure out which ones are golden and which ones belong in the trash.