How to Know if a Business Idea is Viable

Alternative Title: How to know that growing snails in your bedroom is not a great idea!

I don't want to live in your bedroom ...

I don't want to live in your bedroom ...

There are some absolutely, amazing ideas out there today. Many of these ideas have led to the invention and availability of products that improve our daily lives from medicine to grocery deliver services to vehicles to the Shake Weight©.

In addition, there are millions of ideas that tried to make it and didn't. I bet if this question was part of a trivia game, you would able to list (at least) three companies or products that started and had a miserable, public death.

As a potential or existing entrepreneur, your goal is to end up on the right side because you did the research, you asked the right questions, you sought out help to start and grow your business, as well as you and your business were organized.

If this doesn't sound like you, I have given you a gift. Now, take it and don't squander it. (Plus, there is no return policy!)

Starting a business has steps and takes time. If you rush into starting a business, many mistakes will be made - you will learn from all but only some will you be able to come back from. 

Your first step, and most important, is doing the research. 

I know that market research can be time consuming, tedious, overwhelming, and even boring - but just do it!

Hey friend! I'm just looking for a little company ...

Hey friend! I'm just looking for a little company ...

  • If you don't research your industry, you won't know where the trends are taking you.
  • If you don't research and understand your customer, you won't know if they will pay for your product/service, where they prefer to buy from, where you can find them, or what they will pay/can afford.
  • If you don't research your location, you will end up with an Instagram account full of pictures showing your beautiful store, products on shelves, selfies with you and the price gun BUT no sales. Either because customers don't know you're open, they can't find you, or they choose not to drive 15 km to a location that was just in the news for a gang-related shooting or because John Candy's ghost keeps showing up.
  • If you don't research your competitors, you will make the same mistakes they did. Go and talk to them - the worse thing that will happen is that they don't want to talk to you. So find alternative ways to learn about them - their sales, their customers, their successes, and their failures.

Do the research and find out if other people are as excited about your idea as you!

Here are few starting points:

  1. Canada Business - or call 1-888-576-4444 to ask about their 'Secondary Market Research' tool - let them help you do the research!
  2. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) @
  3. Entrepreneur magazine @

Starting a business can be the most amazing experience in the world - but it can also be the death of your soul and confidence if it doesn't work.

Be excited but also be an expert in your field. Know your business inside and out. This knowledge will not only positively influence how you run your business, but it will also leave a wonderful impression with the people you meet while on your entrepreneurial journey.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with us - if you have any questions, please email us at


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