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How to Avoid Expensive Mistakes Before You Start a Business

If I had a dime for every business idea I’ve had…. If I had a dime for every business idea I’ve had….

Do you have a great idea for your business? Or maybe more than one?

Yeah, a lack of ideas has never been a problem for me either, but knowing which one to pursue has been harder. There’s a term for that, multi-passionate.

When that's your nature, you learn what to do, when a new idea strikes. Like it did for me once again back in January of this year.

That seems like forever ago now but I still remember the buzz of having an exciting new business idea. It felt like a winner and a perfect name emerged and went right on my whiteboard. A new idea, filled with potential combining several of my skills and a solution to a problem I thought I could solve.

The buzz is so enticing, but I knew from the school of hard knocks to resist spending any money until I knew if there was really a need.

Is there a problem that people would know they had, and be willing to pay to resolve?

The only way to know that was to begin the less exciting but very valuable work of entering the business idea research phase and doing the following:

· Online searches for similar businesses

· Interviewing people that I thought would be potential buyers of the service

· Interviewing people with insider views of the potential buyer's needs.

· And finally, I reached out to a business mentor so that I could share my idea and what my research had turned up.

After careful consideration weighing everything I’d found out, I put the idea aside.

Was it disappointing? Yes, but I was glad I hadn’t rushed out to get a domain name or start marketing the idea.

The information helped me realize that while there was potential, it would likely be a steep climb to success. Not undoable, but difficult.

That led to self-reflection about the kind of life I want, and whether it fits into my overall vision for how I want to live at this stage of my life.

Being clear about what I wanted, meant the research gave me valuable insights into what the business would entail. Yes, it was a sound idea, but it wasn't right for me.

That’s what research does, it helps you make hard decisions. Or harder decisions easier. It also means you’ll avoid making mistakes, like coach Lisa Johnson –

“Failing to do this research before I started taking on clients resulted in clients that weren’t ready to do the work, wanted everything for free, and just wanted a chat! If I had done my resea