Ask Away Blog: Why Your Business Idea Isn't Working, No Matter How Hard You Try

Why Your Business Idea Isn't Working, No Matter How Hard You Try

Thursday, August 25, 2022

 

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All entrepreneurs eventually hit a brick wall in their careers. They run with a business idea for a while but find that they aren’t getting anywhere with it, no matter how much time and energy they dedicate to it.

In this post, we take a look at why some business ideas don’t work, however good they might seem.

It Isn’t Unique

You might have a great business idea, but if it’s not unique, then you’ll struggle to stand out against other early movers in your industry. In principle, offering music for download over the internet is a great business model because of its high margins and low overhead. But given how many firms are now in the space, launching a new service probably won’t have much of an impact.

The Timing If Off

During the 1990s, dozens of entrepreneurs experimented with setting up search engines. But it was only Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who really succeeded when they founded Google in 1998.

Before they showed up, entrepreneurs were experimenting with all sorts of ideas for how to find and rank pages on the internet. Unfortunately, most early attempts were appallingly bad. Then Page and Brin arrived at just the point when the technology was good enough to offer a decent service. The pair launched Google and the rest is history, as they say.


The lesson here is that timing is essential. If they’d left it just a year to make their move, someone else would have beaten them to the punch, and, today, nobody would have heard of Google. Perhaps Yahoo would be at the top of the pile.

You’re Not Thinking About Shipping

Even if you have a great business idea, you still need to make sure that you deliver to customers. Failing to nail your distribution model can put your firm at a significant disadvantage against the competition.

Just look at how Amazon dominates the eCommerce market. It was able to offer one-click next-day shipping for its customers, squeezing other players out of the market, even if their prices were lower and customer service was better.

Check that you are getting the lowest UPS shipping quotes for SMBs. If you aren’t, switch your provider. Find a partner who can transfer goods at low cost.

The Your Circumstances Have Changed

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Business ideas that seemed great in the past might not offer customers any value today. For instance, setting up a stables and selling horses to the public seemed like a great option for a business in 1900. Unfortunately, by 1920, that model was largely obsolete, thanks to Henry Ford and the modern motor vehicle.

Double check that there isn’t a technology undermining your business model. If there is, you may have no choice but to try a different tack.

You’re Not Executing Properly

Lastly, you may have a fantastic business model, but if you’re not executing it properly, it won’t work. The trick here is to ask for help. Bring people in who understand how to succeed in your industry and put them to work.


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