My latest business idea was to install a drainage system in people's window wells to avoid flooding from heavy rains. My inlaws were having problems with their window wells flooding, and so were a couple of their neighbors. In the past, I would have assumed this meant there was a big demand and I would have started to create systems to efficiently solve the problem and market the solution. Not this time. This time I knew I had to flyer the neighborhood first and see how big the response was before I really knew if I had a problem worth solving.
Just because YOU really care about a business idea doesn't mean there are enough other people with an existing demand to make the business worth pursuing. The higher the existing demand, the lower your marketing costs will be, and the easier it will be to cash flow your solution.
In addition to testing for real demand for your solution. You must also test to make sure you can efficiently solve the problem. In addition to sending out flyers in the neighborhood, I also knew I had to do a little research to make sure my proposed solution to the problem would work. In my situation this meant having a quick conversation with the home builder.
It turned out the foundation drain was on the inside of the foundation wall (which isn't typical). The required solution to the problem included digging under the foundation spread footer, which not only triples the cost, but also opens me up to a lot of risk from potentional future lawsuits. I also learned there was another contractor who was already working in the neighborhood to solve the problem at a low cost.
With this new information I decided to throw in the towel on my window well drainage idea and move onto my next idea. I didn't spend months building a complex website. I didn't register a business name or work on a logo. I didn't open a business checking account or set up a new accounting software. I didn't tell all my friends and family I was starting this business.
A business idea is worthless until you can prove there is an existing demand for a problem you can efficiently solve. Don't get excited about a business idea until you have proved there is a demand for a problem you can solve.
My name is Eric Young. I started this blog to share my ideas around helping people create success online businesses.