Business Idea Case Study (Mini-Hands-On!)

This is going to be a slightly different video. This is going to be a bit more of a "hands-on exercise," if you will. I'm going to read to you a post I came across in a small business forum. Here, the poster is sharing their idea for their small business. What I want you to do is, as I'm reading their post, I want you to try and recognize as many things they're doing right...and also any problems with their idea that you recognize.

Show Notes

Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!

  • Nothing here just yet.

Transcription

Then, we'll compare notes and see how you did. This exercise will help you spot potential problems with your business, product, and service ideas, too. So if you'd like grab a pen and paper and jot down ideas as I read through this. Sound good? Great, here we go:

"I'm going to open up a teahouse specializing in niche desserts not available in my local area. I haven't opened up anything like this before, I've only ever owned a dog walking business. I'm doing as much research as possible. Researching successful cafes/teahouses, researching local teahouses to see what people aren't happy with so that my teahouse can do these things right. Speaking to my friends who work in that industry for the lowdown on daily operations and tasks so I know how to streamline everything and what to expect. I'll be making sure quality and customer experience is my top priority. There's nothing worse than bad staff. I'm a bit worried because we are going to be so busy with having so many niche desserts that will look ingrammable and taste delicious. But with my research everything will be easier despite me not being in this industry. I was thinking of having a mentor but I don't think I need one, I don't want any risk of my ideas being stolen, the fact I'm the first to do these niche desserts locally will be a main contributor to my success and the initial buzz should be great and long-lasting."

Alright now, let's compare notes!

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Alright so there it is. What did you make note of? Let's start off with things they're doing right. Here's what I got:

"I'm doing as much research as possible. Researching successful cafes/teahouses, researching local teahouses to see what people aren't happy with so that my teahouse can do these things right."

This is killer. Deep, effective research is critical for a business's success. Research doesn't guarantee success...but it goes a long, long way to tipping the odds in your favour. The more you know, the more prepared you are.

"I'll be making sure quality and customer experience is my top priority."

This is huge. Product and service quality should always be top notch...and it's great to hear that they're prioritizing the customer experience.

Now let's take a look at things they're doing wrong. Did you write down any of these? Here's what I got:

"I'm going to open up a teahouse specializing in niche desserts not available in my local area."

How do they know if there's demand in their local area for specialized desserts?

"I haven't opened up anything like this before, I've only ever owned a dog walking business."

They not only have zero experience in running a similar business...but they effectively have zero business experience. I don't think owning a dog walking business really cuts it...it's a step above a newspaper route -- no offence to dog walkers!

"I'm a bit worried because we are going to be so busy with having so many niche desserts"

One of the biggest problems many businesses face is juggling too many products. There's literally too much on the menu. I recently re-watched Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares -- the original UK series -- and this is a very, very common problem in the restaurants Gordon went into.

Now you might not be running a bakery or restaurant...but how many products are you trying to sell? Do they compliment one another or are they all over the map?

"with my research everything will be easier despite me not being in this industry."

That's an opinion, not fact. No industry experience? I'd buckle in for a wild, bumpy ride!

"I was thinking of having a mentor but I don't think I need one, I don't want any risk of my ideas being stolen"

Having a coach, mentor, or more experienced business partner who has business experience is often exactly what's needed. Many new entrepreneurs are unnecessarily worried about their ideas being stolen...but remember, ideas are a dime a dozen.

Other people have started and run successful teahouses and bakeries -- big deal! What's rare is effective execution. Did Starbucks invent coffee shops? Nope. But they invented premium coffee and the effective execution that goes along with it.

"the fact I'm the first to do these niche desserts locally will be a main contributor to my success and the initial buzz should be great and long-lasting."

Again, opinion not fact. Do they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there will be local demand for their specialized desserts?

Further, how do they know they'll have initial buzz (maybe they have some kind of promotion or marketing plan in place that they didn't mention)...and how do they know it'll be long-lasting?

I don't mean to poke holes...but I think it's much, much better to work on facts and research than it is to go off of opinions, hunches, and hopes. It's better to know this kinds stuff up front BEFORE getting started.

After all, how much does it cost to open a tea house? I have no idea...$50,000? $100,000? ...let alone ongoing monthly overhead. Maybe before spending that kind of money, it's important to ask some critical questions first.

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Geoff Blake, Ten Ton Online

Hey there, I’m Geoff! Business, marketing, and the web can seem like a tangled, confusing mess, right? Well if you wanna get clear, straight info on all this stuff (no gimmicks or hypey nonsense)...then you're definitely in the right spot! Start here (free!)