Does your idea have a real opportunity for success? Do you really know what you're getting into? Make sure you understand the risks and complexities of starting a new business with our feasibility checklist.
You can use the checklist to evaluate a completely new venture proposal or an opportunity in your existing business. Are you prepared to start and run a business? Is your idea a real business opportunity?
Answer these questions with yes or no. If the answer is no, you have some work to do before you can start a successful business.
Do you have the skills and personality to run a business?
- Do you have willpower and self-discipline?
- Can you adapt quickly to changing conditions?
- Do you have the stamina to work 12–16 hour days for months or even years?
- Are you prepared to lower your standard of living while your business gets off the ground?
- Are you prepared to lose all your savings to your business?
- Are you willing to re-invest your salary/business profits to help your business grow?
Do you have access to enough financing?
- Do you know what financial investment your business will require?
- Do you know what your expenses will be for rent, wages, insurance, utilities, advertising, interest, etc.?
- Do you need to know which expenses are direct, indirect, or fixed?
- Do you know how much your overhead will be?
- Do you know where you can borrow the rest of the money you need to start your business?
- Do you know how much credit you can get from your suppliers (the people you will buy from)?
Is there a market for your product or service?
- Does your idea serve a presently unserved need?
- Do you know what kind of people will want to buy your product or service?
- Do people like to live in the area where you want to open your business?
- Do they need a business like yours?
- If not, can you open a different kind of business or go to another location?
- Do you have a plan for finding out what your customers want? Do you know how you will conduct market research?
- Do you understand your advantages over your competition? Better price, location, etc.?
Do you have an operational plan?
- Do you know the quantity, quality, technical specifications, and price ranges for all your products?
- Do you have all your supplier arrangements secured?
- Will suppliers' prices allow you to achieve an adequate markup?
Adapted from content originally prepared by the Government of Saskatchewan
More ways to evaluate your business idea
- Alberta.ca: Is my new venture idea profitable? This resource from the Government of Alberta will help you conduct preliminary assessments, detailed analysis, and long-term business planning.
- Entrepreneur magazine: How to research your business idea – A high-level guide to generating, researching, analyzing, and evaluating your business idea.
- Small Business BC: How to evaluate your business idea – Information about researching your market, competition, and industry trends.
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