Choosing Startup Ideas

Choosing a startup idea out of a list of your favorites is like choosing between your favorite ice cream flavors — it’s hard, but if you want it, you must do it. Put your startup ideas to the test by running them through these important considerations to find the right one for you.

For each startup idea, consider the following factors:

Passion

First things first, you need to be honest with yourself about how passionate you are about the ideas you’ve selected. If you aren’t thrilled about the thought of spending your time and energy on making one or more a reality, it probably isn’t the startup idea for you. Not to mention, customers don’t typically flock to businesses that the founders aren’t even excited about.

The best startup ideas are the ones that light your fire and get you excited to start this new entrepreneurial venture. Quite frankly, a startup must be successful since you will most likely be spending the lion’s share of your time on it.

Market Size

There is a sweet spot for entrepreneurs to look for when they are choosing a startup idea — a market that isn’t too big or too small. A saturated market can be way too competitive for a new startup, especially if the startup idea doesn’t offer a completely new take on the current offerings. Your goal as a startup is to shake up the industry and disrupt the status quo, both of which are unlikely if the market is already flooded with entrepreneurs with the same idea as you.

Comparatively, if there isn’t a great enough demand for the idea to thrive, you’ll either need to rework the idea or completely go back to the drawing board. In short, don’t create a supply if there isn’t sufficient demand.

Risk

A realistic look into the risks that come with each startup idea will give you some helpful insight into which one is attainable and worthwhile to you. The first step, however, is to identify what risks you are actually able to take by being honest with yourself about the repercussions of your startup failing or even floundering.

It’s no secret that starting your own business comes with inherent risks. Being able to plan for the worst will help you assess which ideas are a little too hazardous and which ideas you think are worth the risk.

Competition

With over 800,000 businesses under a year old in the US alone, it’s practically guaranteed that your startup will have some competitors no matter which idea you choose. Your job is to find out roughly how many competitors each idea has and assess how (or if) your idea is better than what’s already on the market.

Think about it this way, if you have what seems like a great startup idea but upon researching your competitors, you discover that several startups are providing the same service or product — you are starting your business at a disadvantage, and you should probably move onto the next idea.

Work-Life Balance

Finally, consider how much time you have to dedicate to your new business idea. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to most likely dedicate a large amount of time to make your startup work; however, some startup ideas ask more of you than others. For example, a telehealth services startup will require much more of your time than a freelance writing startup.

You also need to be realistic about the amount of time you want to dedicate to your startup. You may think you’re willing to invest 40 to 50 hours, but chances are, if you’ve never worked that much before, it’ll be difficult to start now. In essence, the more honest you are with yourself, the more likely it is that your startup will succeed.