So what’s YOUR big idea for business success?

Rachel Panther Business Coach at Oxford Innovation and running Spark Notts on behalf of Notts County Council shares the top 5 things you must research to understand if your idea is BIG...
Rachel PantherRachel Panther
Rachel Panther

Your big idea has to do a number of things; be innovative, serve a market need, have potential customers, beat the competition; but ultimately it has to be able to make a profit because a business fundamentally exists to make one.

1. Innovation; your idea must do something different or be better than the current suppliers.

It could be a better product, business process or a service level that cannot be beaten but it has to enable you to be bigger, better, faster, cheaper, stronger or more reliable.

2. Market Need; what need or problem are you aiming to solve?

Some of the greatest businesses were born when an entrepreneur experienced a problem and found a simple solution to it.

Now start researching the need you are targeting - how big is it, what level of urgency is there to solve it, can you access it?

3. Target Customers; you need to know your potential customers very well. Can you group them by characteristics or buying motivators/behaviours and what might each group pay to access your solution?

Retailers often describe their ideal customer in each group as you would a person and give them a name.

4. Your Competencies; what will your business need to be good at to succeed? A business leader doesn’t have to be good at everything; only those components that are really critical to a customers buying decision, but make sure you have the right partners for everything else.

5. Competition; having identified a market need, it’s likely you will have some form of competition.

Get to know them intimately, as your job now is to find ways to continuously beat them. Is your idea Innovative? And can it make you money?

Join the Spark community and enter the business idea competition, launching in April, with a prize fund worth over £40,000, at

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