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After noticing a gap in the wedding industry, I founded a bridesmaid for hire business. Here are 3 ways to take an out-there business idea and figure out if it will actually make you money.

1. See if your audience is interested

After noticing a gap in the wedding industry, I founded a bridesmaid for hire business. Here are 3 ways to take an out-there business idea and figure out if it will actually make you money.
Slideshows1 min read

2. Put the idea in motion

2. Put the idea in motion

I didn't waste much time after I got the idea to start a professional bridesmaid business. I built the website in two days and started offering a few initial services. Every day, I made changes to the website and updated our packages based on the feedback I received. Having an MVP (minimal viable product) launched allowed me to test my ideas in real time and make improvements.

Sean Sessel, founder and director of The Oculus Institute, promotes the theory of giving yourself one week to make a gross profit of one dollar.

"Far too many potential entrepreneurs spend months or years, and thousands — or even millions — of dollars trying to make their product perfect before it goes to market," said Sessel. "However, they never get proof of concept that people are in fact interested enough in the value proposition to pay a profitable price for it. If everything has to be perfect to make any money, then the business idea isn't compelling enough, and will face continual resistance in the market."

3. Take a good look at the market

3. Take a good look at the market

Starting a business can feel lonely, and it can be hard to validate your ideas. That's why it's extra important to understand your competitors and the market around you. I spent over 15 hours speaking with other vendors in my industry to get a pulse on current trends and the customer's mindset. I spent additional time mapping out my competitors' strengths as well as their shortcomings.

Waldon Fenster, a small business consultant, said that first you should identify the problem you want to solve, the core audience you want to reach, and the ways you want to make the world more convenient for people. After that, the next step is to determine if the market is ready for your service or product.

"One good indicator that the market is ready for your business idea is that someone is already doing it," said Fenster. "I know that sounds counterintuitive to most people, but the fact is that nothing is really new under the sun. And frankly, if no one is solving the problem you want to solve, then it's possible that either it's not the problem you think it is, or no one else is being inconvenienced by it the way you are."

When you think of your idea, start with research. Even if someone else is already tackling the problem, it doesn't mean you can't start a similar business. What it does mean is that you need to figure out what value you can provide and how you can be a little bit different than any other business out there. It's a challenge that may make you both uber successful and uber frustrated at the same time. But if you're passionate about making your business work, it's a challenge you should be eager to accept.

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