Before getting too invested, validate your business concept with your target audience

The epidemic of unskilled lifestyle entrepreneurs, and failure business ideas

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

People start businesses for various reasons, but most of them want to upgrade from their 9-to-5 full time employed corporate lifestyle to enjoy a higher degree of freedom and have a sense of purpose.

Having some experience in launching and managing such businesses, as well as being a consultant, people regularly approache me to discuss their business ideas.

I started to realize that most people have very similar intentions behind starting a business. These intentions are typically to escape from the 9-to-5 rat race. Most first-time businesses are lifestyle businesses are built to pursue these intentions. To turn their passion into a useful, profitable activity. To self-actualize and manifest their dreams.

When people think about business ideas that are serving such, and similar purposes, they are likely to think in a biased way.

What do I mean by that? It is simple: because they have a specific purpose, typically an emotional driven motivation that drives them into entrepreneurship. The above reasons are seldom rational.

Personal motivations without business sense

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Their primary and often unintentional goal Is to fulfill their emotional needs. Which means they will pursue their passion instead of going through proper business planning and following the procedures of building and managing a business. Quite often, people with such motivations jump into business investments, without actually thinking evaluating viability.

Making it even worse, most entrepreneurs who start businesses for lifestyle reasons are lacking adequate business management experience. All they think about is putting their passion into business. They come up with very vague ideas about profitability. They don’t think about market opportunities. They don’t think about competition.

All they think about Is “getting out there”, showcasing their products services or anything in between to an untested target market without having any idea about how that market is going to react to their business.

Lifestyle entrepreneurs and startup-founders are encouraged to be stupid

Photo by Prateek Katyal on

An entire industry was built on capitalizing on these passionate fools. An ever growing number of business trainers and motivational speakers are trying to sell motivational and basic business management courses. Anyone with a tiny bit of business management experience would laugh on those courses.

These motivational trainers recklessly encourage people to follow their passion, even if that passion is destined to fail as a business concept. Just start now, and figure things out later. They are encouraging them to implement business ideas in very simplistic, I would say very primitive ways and see what happens next. This is a fundamentally bad strategy to start a business.

This is how someone should start a hobby not a business. And definitely I would not recommend to anyone to leave a full-time job to pursue anything like this.

Get your business idea validated

Despite great ideas and best efforts most businesses will never take off. Among various management issues there are three fundamental shortcomings that guarantee failure.

  • First is the inability to demonstrate why potential customers should pay for what you sell
  • Second is the failure to demonstrate credibility and competence
  • The third is selling concepts, products and solutions that have no real world relevance

The successful ten percent of businesses get these right will realize revenue and profits from an early stage, while the remaining 90% are simply self-defeating by marketing themselves wrongly or sticking to strategies that never worked, and will most likely never work.

At Brand Auditor, we offer a business concept audit that makes it very easy for anyone to validate a business idea, and to get real life feedback about how their products services are perceived by their target audience.

Before getting too invested or committed to a business idea, I definitely recommend to get your idea checked. If you are already in business since a while, but your results are not satisfactory then it is also a good idea to get your concept checked.

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