Road test your new business idea

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Part 1
Road test your new business idea

My opportunity: why will or won’t this work?
You may have capital and a talented management team, but if you are fundamentally in a lousy business, you won’t get the kind of results you would in a good business. All businesses aren’t created equal.
Long-time venture capitalist William P. Egan II1

Passion! Conviction! Tenacity! Without thesetraits, few entrepreneurs could endure the challenges, the setbacks, the twists in the road that lie between their often path-breaking ideas – opportunities, as they call them – and the fulfilment of their entrepreneurial dreams. The very best entrepreneurs, however, possess something even more valuable – a willingness to wake up every morning and ask a simple question about their nascentopportunity: ‘Why will this new business work when most will fail?’ Or, to put it more realistically, ‘What’s wrong with my idea, and how can I fix it?’ They ask this simple question for a very simple reason. They understand the odds. They know most business plans never raise money. They know most new ventures fail. Most of all, they don’t want to end up starting and running what Bill Egan would call a‘lousy business’, one that consumes years of their energy and effort, only to go nowhere in the end. Despite asking this crucial question every day, their passion remains undaunted. So committed are they to showing a reluctant world that their vision is an accurate one that they want to know before bad things can happen why they might be wrong. If they can find the fatal flaw before they write theirbusiness plan or before it engulfs their new business, they can deal with it in many ways. They can modify their idea – shaping the opportunity to better fit the hotly


The New Business Road Test

competitive world in which it seeks to bear fruit. If the flaw they find appears to be a fatal one, they can even abandon the idea before it’s too late – before launch, in some cases, or soonenough thereafter to avoid wasting months or years in pursuit of a dream that simply won’t fly. Better yet, if, after asking their daily question and probing, testing and especially experimenting for answers, the signs remain positive, they embrace their opportunity with renewed passion and conviction, armed with a new-found confidence that the evidence – not just their intuition – confirms theirprescience. Their idea really is an opportunity worth pursuing. Business plan, here we come!

Tools to answer the question ‘why will or won’t this work?’
Just as most car buyers take a road test before committing to the purchase of a new vehicle, so serious entrepreneurs run road tests of the opportunities they consider. Each road test resolves a few more questions and eliminates a few moreuncertainties lurking in the path of every opportunity. This book provides a road test toolkit that any serious entrepreneur can use to resolve these questions serious and eliminate these uncertainties before writing a entrepreneurs run business plan. It addresses the seven domains that road tests of the opportunities they characterize attractive, compelling opportunities. consider It recounts the vividcase histories of path-breaking entrepreneurs who understood these domains, to their enduring advantage. Perhaps more importantly, the book brings to life the less happy stories of other entrepreneurs whose opportunities ran foul of one or more of the seven domains and who, as a result, failed to achieve their goals. Learning from failure is something most successful entrepreneurs do quite well.As many entrepreneurs put it, in talking about their battle scars, ‘If I can make each mistake only once, I’ll be in good shape.’ The common as well as some not so common mistakes are here in this book for all to see.



What this book is and what it is not
This book is not about how to write a business plan. It’s about what to do before you write your business plan to ensure that...
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