My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2009

The Five Questions you need to answer before starting a business.

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So far in my not so short life I have started four companies on my own. Out of the four, two have been pretty successful (in a ridiculously low standards kinda way) and two were pretty forgettable…but having a .500 batting average is pretty good by any ones loose standards and while I don’t have all the answers I have learned some things along the way, and I am going to share something with you now.

Coming up with business ideas is easy…I have 100 a day but I may only have 1 or 2 really good ones a week/month and the way you figure out the good from the bad is simple:

Run your idea thought the 5W’s

Pretty Simple huh?

Well it is…all you have to do is ask yourself the following.
  1. Who – is the product/service for and do they really need it?
  2. What – is the product/service and will people pay for it?
  3. Where – will people get it and can you scale this distribution channel?
  4. When – can you get it to people and will there still be a market at that time?
  5. Why – are you doing this? (passion, profit, does it solve a pain for people, ego)
If your idea still holds up after the 5W’s then you might actually have something worth spending some time writing a business plan for, if it doesn’t (like my idea for a mobile gentleman’s club in the back of 18 wheeler trucks) then just move onto the next idea.
Cause ideas are easy, great business’s are hard.
  1. Wait a sec…a mobile gentlemen's club in an 18 wheeler. That's genius.

    You mean it won't work?


  2. Hey Saul,

    Great post. I find the problem is that everyone has their great idea, but few are willing to go through the blood, sweat & tears involved with bringing that idea to life and creating a business. These are great questions to ask yourself, especially the why – if you're motivated by money and not passion, chances are you won't be willing to put in the hard work it will take to succeed.

  3. Haay, guess what? I've seen one of those. Unless it wasn't actually a gentleman's club — but it did have sofas and things inside, and so.

  4. Seen your web site via msn the other day and absolutely like it. Keep up this fantastic work.

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