This question comes up quite often from attendees at our Starting and Running Your Business Workshop for prospective entrepreneurs and those already in business. The workshop is packed with information, tips and techniques to address the common issue with people that have an inner entrepreneurial spirit but don’t know how to assess which idea might be the most successful.

Process of Elimination

The process of elimination to find the idea that best suits the person, their interests and their resources requires a business opportunity analysis. There are vast differences between the complexities and risks of different ideas. Let’s consider a few basic questions to try and reach an answer. Put your answers to these questions under each idea and assess the results when you finish.

  1. What are you going to sell – a product or a service? If you are going to sell a product you typically buy the product and resell it at a higher price. If you sell a service, you must have a skill set and actually perform the service (work) for a customer. Do you have a needed skill set?
  2. Do you have a passion to sell the product or service? Running your own business usually requires a lot of energy and long hours to be successful. Which idea are you most passionate about?
  3. What is the target market for each idea? Which will be the easiest to reach and convert into sales? Do you have a sense for what kind of advertising would be the most effective?
  4. How much do you have to invest to start the business? Do you need a storefront, a large expensive inventory, a lot of expensive equipment or one or more employees? All of these things may require a substantial expenditure before you open your doors for business.
  5. What are your financial goals for the business? Can it be just a part time business or do you need sufficient income to meet your normal lifestyle?

After comparing the results, pick the idea that seems to have the most potential and fits your personal interest and your financial capabilities. Then you should develop a comprehensive business plan to determine if the idea and resources are viable and competitive in your target market. Houston SCORE teaches business planning workshops and has Mentors available to help you determine if you should proceed with this idea. If the business plan looks sound, then you need an Implementation Plan to get ready to open for business.

Visit the SCORE Houston website to register for upcoming workshop on Starting and Running Your Business Workshop @ and additional workshop offers @

About the Author(s)

 Richard  Hall

An entrepreneur, author, speaker and SCORE Houston Mentor in  the Woodlands location with 10+ years experience assisting  business startup clients with business and marketing plans, operations efficiency reviews, financial analysis and all small business issues.

Business Mentor, SCORE Houston
I Have Several Ideas For A Business. What should I do?