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I often speak with people who are contemplating starting a business or are thinking of expanding their existing business. In many cases, as I listen to their reasoning, their logic is spot on. But, as you might imagine, sometimes just the opposite is true.

As a serial entrepreneur, I understand how someone can get overly excited about a new idea that dawns on them. However, it’s always good to sit back and fully evaluate what the long-term impact might be.

There’s a tendency when a seemingly good idea occurs to think that this might be our one and only opportunity to jump on something hot; who knows when another original idea will come along?

While that may be true, you need some reality checks to ensure you’re not overly enamored with your idea. While your idea may be terrific, ask yourself if it truly is the basis for starting a business, versus an enhancement to an already existing business, whether yours or someone else’s.

Also, make sure you’re making your decision based on something that you could envision yourself doing in five or even ten years. Sometimes, people are in a bad space and they look at their idea as their ticket out. Once their current condition passes, they may have gotten themselves into something they truly regret.

Is your idea a solution to a problem people currently have? If so, great. However, too often, entrepreneurs come up with a solution to something that people don’t even know exists. This becomes an uphill battle that usually ends in defeat unless you have major capital to convince people of both this problem and your solution.

Ask yourself about the potential size of your market. Are there enough people that would be willing to pay for your solution so that you can be reassured there will be enough money to provide for you, your family, and potentially, your employees?

While I am against analysis/paralysis, I think it’s important to talk out the various scenarios, short-term and long-term, as best as possible, before taking the dive into a new business.

Happy to be your sounding board!