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How do you know if your business idea is going to work?  How do you know if something is possible or not? How do you know how much you should charge a customer for your product? How do you know if they will agree to pay it?

Slough PopUp Business School 2019. Alan Donegan presenting

Alan Donegan presenting at the Slough Rebel Business School 2019
I have been running the Rebel Business School for the last 2 weeks in Slough and, inspired by the questions that I have been asked, I wanted to write this post for you about possibility. 

How do you know if your business idea will work or not?

When someone first comes up with a business idea who do they go and tell about it? 

Their friends or family.

Here is how it goes:
“I have come up with this new idea for X product or service. What do you think?”

“Sounds lovely”

Is that good feedback?  Does that help you?  Do you know if the idea will work or not now?

NO!  What you should do at that point is lean in and ask them to buy!  Ask them to get their wallet or purse out right now and buy one of your new product or service!

Then you will get the really answer!

People will be nice to you up until the point that you actually ask them to part with their cash.  It is ONLY then that they will give you the real answer.

How do you know if your business idea is going to work or not!?!??


The only way is to try!

I might get slightly passionate about this subject as I have spent years helping people to see this.  They will hide behind building a website, doing a customer survey, getting IPO protection; anything to put off actually asking a customer to buy!

The only way to know if your business idea will work or not is to try!

How do you know if something is possible or not?

The only way to know is to give it a go.  One of the stories that is quoted all the time about possibility is the Sir Roger Bannister 4-minute mile story.  Before he broke the 4-minute mile people thought it was impossible; they even thought your heart would explode!

What was the only way Sir Roger Bannister knew he could run that fast? He gave it a go, he worked at it, he ran and ran and ran!

Everything is impossible till it isn’t so just get on with it!

I actually think it is easier for someone to achieve the impossible if they didn’t know it was impossible before having a go.

How do you know if you are any good or not?

There is no real way to know until you have a go and start learning!  You have to try.  One of my dreams is to write a movie.  Do you think I know if I will be any good or not before trying?

NO!  I have no idea.  I have been writing this blog for a month now and so far I am enjoying it but I don’t know if I can write a movie script or not.  I have no ideas at all.  The only way to know is to have a go.

So off I go!  I am going to LA for 7 weeks in March 2019 and I will be sitting in coffee shops every day working on my script and writing it.  Then I will find some agents, producers and different people to pitch it to!

The only way to know if I am any good or not is to do it and then put it out into the world and ask for opinions!  And you all know how I am going to ask for an opinion don’t you?

I am going to ask the movie studios to buy.  Not if they will buy my script but actually to buy my script.  That is the only moment they will give you the real feedback!

You have to have a go otherwise you will die not knowing……..

How do I know how much to charge? How do I know if they will pay?

No one knows!  Yes you can do research, yes you can do surveys, yes you can look at the market and see what other people are charging, but there is no real way to know without actually doing it!  

The market for hoodies ranges from £8 a hoody in Primark all the way to £450 a hoody in Harvey Nichols.  It is amazing what things sell for.

The only real way to know if it will sell for the price you want is to find the customer you want and ask them to buy.  They might say no and that is their prerogative.  It is your prerogative to ask.  And if you EVER really want to know for sure ask you must.

Can you see a theme here?

​Ask for the order; have a go; ask for the money!

Get off the sidelines and get in the game

If there is one thing I want to ask you to do is to have a go.  Test it, try it, launch it and make it happen because you will never know if it will work or not until you have done so.  

So many people die with their dreams still inside them.  Don’t let that be you.

What are the risks?
There are risks to launching a business if you do it the old-fashioned way by borrowing money.  But there are also many ways you can test your ideas without spending money.  See this article from Rebel on how to start a business with no money. 

Doing these things doesn’t have to be risky.  There are ways to test anything without the upfront cash layout.  Get creative and find a way to have go without spending too much:

  • Always dreamt of being an artist?  Start painting
  • Always wanted to launch a business? Do it in your spare time without spending any money.  I might know a good course for that (free)
  • Always wanted to write a book? WRITE

So many people die with their dreams still inside them.  Don’t let that be you.  Have a go.  Test It.  Launch it and let me know how it goes. 

If it doesn’t work then what have you lost?  A little bit of time and energy.

If it works then what have you gained?

Your dreams!

​ I wrote this post to inspire you to get off the sidelines and have a go!

The only way to know if you can make your dreams come true or not is to give it a go!  Alan Donegan

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