When to break up with a bad business idea

when to break up witjh your business idea3 red flags it’s not right for you.

Most of us have dated a less than stellar person, and probably for much longer than was reasonable. When you’re too close and too committed to a bad situation, it can be hard to call it quits. Maybe you can’t see what is so obvious to everyone else, maybe you feel like you’ve already invested too much, or maybe in your gut you just know it’s not going to work.

Just like a bad relationship, some business ideas just aren’t going to pan out in the long run.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, we’ve outlined a few questions to ask yourself before you commit to the long haul. Ready?

Three times to dump your bad business idea:


1. Friends and family are trying to talk me out of it.

Before you embark on any business venture, start with customer research. The first place to ask is your immediate support circle. Ask them to be honest, and be receptive to their feedback. Hearing negative feedback about something we love can be tough, but honest communication and research is critical.

Ask yourself: Do people actually want this product or service? How do you know? Make sure you don’t let your ego stand in the way of a better idea!


2. It’s too much, too soon (you’re married before the second date).

Try not to go “all-in” before you’ve tested if your business idea will actually work. Before you design the logo, launch the website, and make it “Facebook official,” take the time to get to know the ins and outs of the idea.

Slow it down: Conducting client discovery interviews, mapping your sales channels, and poking holes in your pricing strategy are all helpful ways to test the waters before you get married to your business idea. Do you understand what your customer really wants or needs? Is it possible you’re so in love with your idea that you’re assuming everyone else (including potential customers) will love it just as much? Small tweaks can make a bad idea an incredible one, so now’s the time to test the waters!


3. I’m not sure what, but something’s not right – the numbers don’t seem to add up.

In any relationship, transparency is key. In business, your financials and projections are the best way to get honest answers about how your business might make money.

Pay attention to your numbers and what they’re telling you – what can you really charge for this product or service? What are your projections? Are you being optimistic or realistic about how successful you’ll be in the long run?


Think it might be time to breakup?

If you do let go of your original business idea or change course, that’s not failure!
You’re freeing your time, energy and financial resources for something that will bring the proper return and reward.


Need help deciding if your business idea is worth your precious time and energy?

Pathway WBC has an entire cohort for new entrepreneurs who want to test their idea in a safe, supportive environment – the Discover Cohort.

Once a week for seven weeks, you’ll conduct customer research, look at sales channels, and work on pricing strategies. Most of the time, the business idea evolves or changes altogether, and at the end you’ll have a viable business model and a close-knit group of supporters.

photos of Discover Cohort

Ready to explore your business idea before you commit?

Come to an upcoming Blue Sky Business Modeling Workshop to get started. This two-hour session is offered twice a month, and is exactly the place to get started on your new business.