Difference between viable and unviable small business ideas

When you decide to start your own small business, it is not just enough to come up with ideas; these small business ideas must also be viable. Something that is workable.

To differentiate between a viable and unviable business idea, let us go through two classic examples. One, which was really good and another totally off the tracks.

There will hardly be anyone who remembers Edsel car. It was labelled as the biggest “lemons” in the history of car manufacturing. Even during planning of this car, advisors were pointing out that this won’t bring good business for the company. There were serious reservations whether the car would do any business at all. The design of the car had innumerable flaws. It was a large, high fuel consumption car being introduced in the market at a time when economy was so weak. Even the name “Edsel” given to the car was a loser. It was the biggest unviable product! It resulted into loss of $400,000,000 to the company.

Let us now consider example of Federal Express, one of the greatest ideas in the history of small business. The concept of Federal Express was not only viable but had huge demand as well in the market. The United States Office was not offering overnight delivery, dismissing it as an unfeasible and absurd concept. Then came Federal Express, with most attractive idea in 1972. It not only promised absolutely positive delivery overnight, but also did it so effectively and inexpensively. It was again one of the greatest ideas of small business of all time. Although it didn’t remain a small business for long and grew into a multi-billion dollar company, FedEx.

The most striking fact that gets highlighted while comparing two stories is the financial differences. Edsel failed in the market miserably despite strongest backing of the multi-billion dollar Ford Motor Company. In contrast Federal Express was launched by a small business owner, Fred Smith, who did not run any of his small business ideas by sitting in huge corporate office. In fact, like other good small businesses, Smith devised FedEx from his home.

Question arises how Smith succeeded with absolutely limited resources while giants Ford failed so miserably? How Smith’s ideas trumped government’s mail deliverance ability? Smith’s ideas made sense and there was demand for his small business ideas in the market. These two things gave massive success to Smith’s small business ideas.

In nutshell small business ideas will survive in a competitive environment only if they are viable to work. However it alone will not yield quick successful results unless backed by robust business plans, capitalization, marketing strategies and investment of time. But remember, all good plans, capital, marketing and labor in the world will not make any unviable small business idea a success!

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