ADD can be a strength in business. But, it also presents its challenges by creating what I call – shiny object syndrome!
Shiny object syndrome stems from a person’s ability to see opportunity in new ideas. Seeing the upside is a must in becoming a true entrepreneur. But, you must temper that with an ability to look at the downside as well!
Here are 5 questions that I have advised small business owners and inventors to ask as they begin their journey to successful entrepreneurship:
- How does this idea fit into my vision?
- Does this opportunity accelerate the current timeline to self-sustainability?
- How does this idea increase the revenue and profitability of my current business?
- How does this opportunity change my current operation?
- How much additional overhead does this opportunity add to my current operation?
This is the first question you must ask yourself in evaluating a new idea . If the idea doesn’t fit into your current business vision – PUT IT IN A FILE FOR LATER!!!
If it doesn’t help, then it hinders your current path by distracting you from what you must focus on for success. If it make sense then ask the next question, if not then leave it as a hobby for your retirement!
Does this opportunity accelerate the current timeline to self-sustainability?
If it doesn’t help you get where you’re trying to go faster, then what is the point? Time is money. So, if you get delayed from you main goal there had better be a good reason.
If the opportunity gets you where you’re trying to go faster great! You still need to ask the rest of the questions, but at least it has one very positive benefit that makes you go further in exploring the idea!
How does this idea increase the revenue and profitability of my current business?
Ok, let’s ask the money question! Can you make money with this idea or not? Much of this evaluation should focus on market analysis.
It doesn’t matter if the idea looks good in a spreadsheet. Will anybody really buy it and will they buy it for the price you have in your spreadsheet?
I see too many ideas with great spreadsheets but I can’t find anyone that will buy the idea. If you’re trying to get investors interested and they’re not, that should tell you something. Maybe there’s not a there there!!!
How does this opportunity change my current operation?
If you add all this new work to figure out the details of your idea; build it’ sell it; deliver it; bill and collect for it; and then most importantly service and support it. Where does all the money and resource come from to implement the idea?
This is the part most small business owners and inventors don’t want to look at. But, the devil is in the details.
If you don’t want to spend the time in figuring this all out then who will? If it doesn’t get figured out then the idea is doomed to failure before it begins. Again, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!
How much additional overhead does this opportunity add to my current operation?
If you’ve figured out all the details with the last question then you have what you need here. Now you can add all the costs and additional resources to your current business.
Look at how this changes your current financial position. I guarantee it won’t be favorable, as you are stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
This exercise allows you to see if the idea really gives you the return on investment (ROI) that you thought in the beginning. If it doesn’t punt now, don’t wait to see what will happen later as it will set you back from your REAL GOAL and can become a albatross around your neck later!
So if you are prone to great ideas, I would begin to work these questions into your evaluation process. It will save you time. While money is often the motivation, your time is your most precious resource. PROTECT IT!
If you need have another idea you’re trying to work into your current business shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you walk through this process to see if the opportunity is really an opportunity or a dog in disguise!