How do I know my new idea will work?

Dear Aunty B,

I have been running a services business for several years and need to take this struggling beast to the next level. Our team has come up with a new idea, which we have tested on customers and seems to have met with good approval.

But how do we know when we have done enough research and whether it will work?


DN of SA.



Dear DN of SA,


So what if it fails? I say that in a cavalier fashion, but all business comes with risk. You know that. You are already in business. There are no guarantees in business, and to go ahead you have to accept that there is a chance you will fail. There, not so bad is it? You actually find a bit of risk invigorating don’t you?


And here is why you should go ahead. You have probably done enough research. There is such a thing as over-evaluating to a point where you start to get paralysed.


Of course all sorts of things might happen. Consumer attitudes might suddenly change. You lose key people. There might be a recession. But evaluate the risk and have confidence you’ll cope.

I think maybe the greatest risk is that you haven’t asked the customers the right question.


I was intrigued to read the other day that McDonald’s had asked mothers what they wanted. Of course they replied healthy food. So McDonald’s introduces pasta for kids. Sales haven’t gone as well. Why? Mums take their kids to McDonald’s for a treat. And that ain’t pasta.


What might have saved McDonald’s from the idea that hasn’t worked? Maybe asking different questions. Maybe doing a small trial? Maybe going on their gut feel that tells them that mums bring their kids to McDonald’s for a treat and not for pasta.


A business idea always runs the risk of failure and you will never know for sure if it will work. But if you know your business, are very close to your customers, do some research, try it out on a small scale and it all looks positive, go for it. It’s not rocket science.


Why don’t you download our Killer Risks webinar? That might help you sleep at night.


Good luck,

Your Aunty B

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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