Is Your Business Idea Profitable?

The current job market has made a lot of people start considering self employed job ideas as opposed to being at risk of redundancies and business closures. However, and despite what many business courses may try to tell you, nobody became a successful businessman just by wanting to. Simply put: some business ideas will never be profitable enough to be worth your time, and unless you are independently wealthy you should asses the profitability of any business idea before dedicating any time to it.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is whether there is a market for your product or services, and how competitive it is. For example, you may start an online jewelry business and discover too late that you just can’t compete in prices with people importing directly from China and other low-cost sources. This doesn’t mean that you need to find a market with no competition, as that usually means the niche is not profitable enough for anybody to be interested on it.

Instead of thinking of your new business idea as “your business”, think of it as an investment. Would you put money on it if your best friend came up with the idea? To start with, estimate your new business’ costs. It doesn’t matter if you are investing time or money, as every hour of your time should have a monetary value. Then calculate how many sales you would need to make in order to pay those costs and earn enough money to pay the bills and live comfortably. Be realistic: Is that an achievable number, or do you need to look again and redesign your business plan?

There are very few people able to come up with a really profitable business idea the first time they try. Keep an open mind, and adjust your business plan and your goals until you are satisfied that your new business will be profitable enough to be worth your time.

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