Entrepreneurial Decision Making: Choosing the Right Idea

Entrepreneur 9 Comments

Undecided CartoonPart of being an entrepreneur is being an idea machine. You are constantly thinking of new products or ways to improve upon existing ones. It can be both a good and bad thing. It’s great because any one of those ideas could be the next big thing! Yet, it’s bad because with so many ideas where do you start? How do you decide which idea is worth your attention right now? It’s not an easy question to answer.

As I write this article I have 5 website concepts that I want to develop. It certainly does not seem like an overwhelming amount of projects, but remember I have a full-time day job and motivation can be lacking by the end of the day. That coupled with the fact that I do all of my own development (PHP/MySQL programming) work makes completing 5 websites from the ground up an enormous task, especially due to the complexity of the projects. So what I’ve been trying to do over the past week or so is narrow my focus and decide on which project deserves my attention first. How do I do this?

Deciding on which project/business venture is best focused on first is not an easy decision. To me I believe they all have the potential to be great, otherwise I would have thrown them in the trash already. So here are a few tips for deciding on which idea to pursue first:

1. Go With Your Gut
In many cases your gut feeling will steer you in the right direction. Did you think of one idea in particular and get gitty inside? Is your gut saying that idea A has more potential than idea B? Don’t sit there forever thinking things through over and over again. Go with your gut and work hard on your idea. Too many ideas are wasted and opportunities have been lost when you over think and under act.

2. Talk It Over
Consider talking through your ideas with other people, just make sure you can trust them. A family member, friend or industry expert can be a great second opinion and help give you the direction you are looking for. Whoever you pick, make sure that they will be objective and honest and not tell you what they think you want to hear. Sometimes you need to hear “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” before you let go of an idea. Better to hear it now than 6 months down the line after you’ve spent countless hours on the project.

3. Research It
I talked about this yesterday, but researching the competition can help you to decide whether to move forward with one particular idea over another. By evaluating the market and competition you can see how viable the idea is in the first place. Then it’s a simple matter of committing to the idea that seems most workable. Also as I pointed out yesterday, you may be able to scrap an idea totally because of lack of demand or if there is too much competition.

4. Sit On It
Often times I find myself stuck with an idea and immediately want to go and start development on it. I get the idea and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. More times than not, the idea has already been thought of and developed or isn’t that great of an idea after I go through the steps listed above. Instead of jumping the gun, write your thoughts down (I usually use notepad) and let them sit. Come back to the idea in couple days and look over what you’ve written. If you still think it’s a good idea then use the steps listed above and consider it for further development.

If you go through all of these steps you should find that deciding on that one idea that deserves your attention will be a lot easier and you can rest assured that the idea has some legs. Once you have your idea, run with it, give it all of your attention and do the best you can. Even if after 6 months you find that the idea you chose failed, you have two things to be happy about. One, you were decisive and two, you still have other ideas on the shelf ready for development.

Good Luck!


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    1. 1 Andy November 14, 2007

      I have a circle of advisers that I am constantly bouncing things off of. The biggest thing that I always keep in mind is that I don’t know everything. If you surround yourself with professional people that know more than you do, your miles ahead of everyone else. See the council of people smarter than you are as well as more successful. That’s my 2 cents.

    2. 2 Erik Karey November 14, 2007

      Thanks for commenting Andy. I agree. I have 2 main people I bounce my ideas off of and it helps a lot to get the feedback immediately.

    3. 3 MerDuriaN November 14, 2007

      You’re right. The hardest things is to decide which business you wanted to goes on. At least you’re the young entrepreneur who focussed on Internet Business. Unlike me, I still headache what kind of fields I should focus on to start my own business.

    4. 4 Jon Cardozo November 14, 2007

      Thanks for the advice Erik. Recently I found myself over thinking my ideas just like you said. I finally got to work on my idea when I realized how many weeks I had wasted! I think entrepreneurs, especially Internet marketers, often have a tendency to go from one idea to the next without taking action.

      I’m sure many of us have stumbled from one marketing plan to the next, listening to various gurus without following through.

    5. 5 Deron Sizemore November 14, 2007

      You and I sound like we’re in the same boat.

      I also work full time during the day and work on developing my online ideas at night or whenever I find free time. It can be very difficult sometimes to keep going, but I try to see the light of the tunnel at what could be in a few years if I keep going and develop the ideas that I have.

      Like you though, I definitely am limited on time. I gave a quick outline of my day in my “Do you really need to post five times a week to have a successful blog” article. The reason I don’t write more than once or twice a week on my blog is basically time constraints. I have to prioritize. I have so many ideas that I can’t do them all at once. It’s tough sometimes.

    6. 6 Erik Karey November 14, 2007

      MerDuriaN – Thanks for commenting and good luck picking your area of interest.

      Jon – I agree with that. I also tend to bounce from idea to idea without really focusing enough on any certain idea and thats why I’m trying to get better with it.

      Deron – It does sound like we are in the same boat. I really like to post on my blog and it’s rewarding to see people come and read and comment. But I too have other ideas that need my attention. It’s very tough to decide what to do and when.

    7. 7 smith May 23, 2008

      http://www.bumdek.com wholesale brand name clothing online. it might be worth checking out.

    8. 8 Pass4sure November 26, 2009

      This is really nice tips. Study material is always matter for the best preparation. Here u can also get solid study material for the best preparation

    9. 9 RAhul singh parihar November 25, 2010

      enterprenuership decision make chooing tha new idea
      genrated in creativety

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