Good idea for a new business? Absolutely yes…but maybe not

When I ran my ad agency, I had the opportunity to talk with many entrepreneurs getting ready to start new businesses. I found that many of them, pumped up with enthusiasm and ready to take on the world, could recite all the reasons their ideas were good ones — and had no notion of reasons why their projects might fail.

They came to me to get my ideas on how to promote their new companies, and ended up doing their best to sell their own ideas to me. They were stuck in positive mode, and didn’t always take it kindly when I got into the problems they might face. I knew that if an idea failed, an entrepreneur was likely to put a big share of the blame on the ad agency. I’d rather risk offending a prospective client than going down with the ship six months or a year later.

My point is, if you have dreams of glory, that’s great — but don’t kid yourself. Never lose sight of the fact that many new businesses fail for the simplest of reasons: they were lousy ideas to start with. Consider all the negatives, as well as the positives. You must be prepared to answer the question, “Have I fallen in love with a bad idea?”

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