To Proceed Or Not To Proceed, That Is The Question

We discussed several methods for determining the feasibility of a business idea in order to determine whether the idea was truly viable or simply looked good on the surface. To summarize, I stated that you should not place your entire financial future on the opinions of friends and family; instead, consult with knowledgeable business experts and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

Let us take it a step further and discuss the process of developing a formal Feasibility Plan that will assist you in determining the true feasibility of your large business idea.

A feasibility plan is precisely that: a written plan created with the express purpose of validating the viability of a business idea. Some refer to it as a “Go/No Go” plan, because the results of a well-constructed feasibility study will indicate whether the idea has a chance of success (which is a Go) or should be abandoned (which is a No Go).

Many entrepreneurs would prefer to have their front teeth extracted without anesthetic than spend the time and effort necessary to create a feasibility plan; frequently out of fear of what it will reveal.

The last thing an entrepreneur wants to hear is that their business idea will fail, so they put on blinders and refuse to test it using real-world data.

Every idea is a good one in an entrepreneur’s mind, every hit is a home run, and every story ends with the hero sipping Mai Tais and lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills. Nobody wants the story to end differently, and many would rather bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best than test their ideas prior to execution. Believe me. I have been there, done that, obtained the T-shirt, and settled the tab. This is not a prudent course of action.

By creating a detailed feasibility plan, you will be forced to remove your rose-colored glasses and examine the idea objectively and completely. It will assist you in defining your market, identifying potential customers, partners, and competitors, identifying opportunities, and alerting you to potential threats.

Establishing a business without first determining its viability is akin to teaching your children to swim by throwing them into a lake. It may be entertaining to try with your sister’s children, but not with your own… Simply put, this is not a good idea.

A feasibility study is similar to writing a mini-business plan. The end result should be a formal document that includes an executive summary, a product or service strategy, a marketing strategy, a pricing and profitability strategy, and a plan for further action. Consider each section in turn.


The Executive Summary is the first section of the plan and summarizes the plan’s major points. The Executive Summary should include a concise but comprehensive description of the concept, an overview of the products or services to be offered, the target market and customer segment, startup costs, and pricing and profitability. Maintain a one-page Executive Summary. I have seen Executive Summaries that were pages and pages long. Limit each topic to one or two concise paragraphs and go into greater detail in the plan’s individual sections.

Plan for Products and Services

This section contains information about the product or service that the business will provide. The purpose of the feasibility plan is not only to determine whether the idea is viable or not, but also to get you thinking critically about the idea from all angles. What is the product’s or service’s purpose? How far along is the idea in its development? What are the product’s or service’s limitations? Is intellectual property at stake? Are there any applicable government regulations or product liability concerns? Are there future expansion or spin-off opportunities?

Marketing Strategy

The marketing plan is a critical section of the feasibility report because it is where you define your market, customer, and competition. You will need to conduct market research to gather the data necessary to develop a viable marketing strategy. Simply consulting the Yellow Pages to determine which similar businesses are listed is insufficient. You must have a firm grasp on the market’s size, growth potential, and trends. You should identify all possible sources of competition (direct and indirect) and detail the advantages and disadvantages of your idea in comparison to competitors. Additionally, you should profile your target customer and explain why the customer would purchase from you rather than someone else.

Profitability and Pricing

The pricing and profitability section should include details on how the price of your product or service was determined, as well as the expected profit margin. Many entrepreneurs are unsure of how to price their product. Some employ what I refer to as the “Shrek Method,” in which the price is extracted from their ear (see the movie, get the joke). There are numerous methods for determining pricing, but that is a subject for another column. Once you have pricing data, include it in this section along with information about projected sales, cost of goods sold, gross margins, operating expense estimates, start-up costs, and capital expenditures, among other things. Many ideas are abandoned at the pricing stage because the entrepreneur discovers that the cost of delivering the goods is simply too high and the profit margins are simply too low to justify execution.

Additional Actions

This final section of the feasibility plan outlines the steps necessary to carry out the plan if a “Go” decision is reached. Do you require capital to cover startup costs? If so, how much will be spent and where will the funds come from? Is a location to be considered, as well as equipment to be purchased? What role will you play in the business’s operation? Is there a business plan in place at your place of employment? Are there licenses that must be obtained or legal tasks such as corporation formation that must be completed? Are there opportunities to form partnerships or recruit key team members?

Finally, do not be afraid of the feasibility plan’s outcome. If the feasibility plan reveals that your idea was a dud, a “No Go,” it is preferable to know this before investing thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars executing an idea that would have been better off bouncing around inside your head.

While writing a feasibility study is inconvenient, so is losing your home due to a failed business venture.

Allow sufficient time to complete the plan. If it helps, feel free to curse me as you go, but remember to thank me at the end.

Here’s to your continued success!

84 thoughts on “To Proceed Or Not To Proceed, That Is The Question”

  1. Pingback: The Ideal Business Trilogies! - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  2. Pingback: Email Marketing The Easy Way - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  3. Pingback: Outsourcing Website Development To Low-Wage Countries - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  4. Pingback: Global Domains International (GDI) Has Been Reviewed. - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  5. Pingback: Do Not Be Afraid To Terminate Troublesome Customers - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  6. Pingback: Consider The Following Before Conducting An Internal Employee Survey - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  7. Pingback: Domains With A Central Niche - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  8. Pingback: Is It Possible For Anyone To Earn Money Legitimately On The Internet? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  9. Pingback: Reduced Supply Chains, Increased Expectations - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  10. Pingback: Perhaps You SHOULD Be Concerned About Your Public Relations! - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  11. Pingback: The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Internet Promotion - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  12. Pingback: Online Registration: 10 Success Secrets - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  13. Pingback: This Week's International Trade News - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  14. Pingback: Outside The Zone Of Safety - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  15. Pingback: 7 Cost-Free Marketing Strategies For Your Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  16. Pingback: Possibility Of Obtaining A Legitimate Data Entry Job - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  17. Pingback: Five Reasons To Participate In Paid Surveys Today - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  18. Pingback: Five Suggestions For Successful Joint Ventures - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  19. Pingback: Five Crucial Considerations When Purchasing Plate Roll Machines - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  20. Pingback: Establishing A Boutique - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  21. Pingback: Factoring Receivables: A Simple Way To Free Up Cash From Unpaid Invoices - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  22. Pingback: The Ten Most Frequently Asked Cost-Benefit Analysis Questions - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  23. Pingback: Is Sales Truly A Mathematical Exercise? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  24. Pingback: Auditing Organizational Performance - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  25. Pingback: Five Strategies To Assist You In Acquiring The Company From Your Boss - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  26. Pingback: The Transitional Decision — To Lead, To Follow, Or To Get Out Of The Way - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  27. Pingback: Prepare Your Proposal And You Will Win - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  28. Pingback: Three Simple Steps To Success That Anyone Can Follow - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  29. Pingback: Earn Money Online By Starting A New Online Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  30. Pingback: Five Ways To Maintain Motivation In Your Work From Home Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  31. Pingback: Entrepreneurial Opportunities For Stay-at-Home Moms - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  32. Pingback: Discover The Simplified Path To Online Wealth - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  33. Pingback: 5 Home Business Ideas For Housewives

  34. Pingback: Increasing Profitability Of Health Clubs Through Retail - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  35. Pingback: Text Messages Are An Ecommerce Opportunity - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  36. Pingback: Ten Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Business In California - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  37. Pingback: Is Now The Right Time To Consider Starting A Pet-Related Business? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  38. Pingback: Conducting Market Research For Your Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  39. Pingback: The Nine Business Warfare Principles - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  40. Pingback: Sloth Is The Seventh Of The Seven Deadly Sins Of Businesspeople. - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  41. Pingback: Discover The Secret To Avoiding The Income Roller Coaster - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  42. Pingback: Constructing Your Dream Franchise - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  43. Pingback: Solutions For Small Businesses At Home - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  44. Pingback: What Is Blogging? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  45. Pingback: Is Firing Someone Required To Be Painful For Both Parties? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  46. Pingback: Local SEO & Google My Business Optimization With Amanda Jordan [Podcast] - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  47. Pingback: Adsense Alternatives For Your Blog - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  48. Pingback: Making Your Franchise Operation Successful - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  49. Pingback: The Pleasure Of Establishing A New Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  50. Pingback: Five Strategies For Small Cap Companies To Attract Major Investors - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  51. Pingback: Home A Business Owner's Guide To A Lucrative Free Opportunity - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  52. Pingback: Career Counseling For Life Coaches – Choosing The Right Career - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  53. Pingback: Working Capital Is Critical To A Business's Survival - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  54. Pingback: The 10 Most Important Blogging Tools - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  55. Pingback: When Outsourcing During A Recession, There Are Four Key Indicators To Monitor - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  56. Pingback: Article Marketing Explained - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  57. Pingback: A Beginner’s Guide To Guest Posting For Bloggers - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  58. Pingback: How To Establish A Successful Online Business Through Affiliate Programs - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  59. Pingback: Using A Blog To Generate Leads For A Multi-Level Marketing Company - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  60. Pingback: The Top Ten Secrets Of Extremely Successful Entrepreneurs - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  61. Pingback: Create A Home Business For A Small Investment - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  62. Pingback: How To Succeed In Business - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  63. Pingback: Budgeting For A Trade Show - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  64. Pingback: How To Grab Keywords By The Tail – Striking Keyword Gold - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  65. Pingback: How To Become Rich With Little Work? This Is How - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  66. Pingback: How To Generate Online Buyer Sales Leads - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  67. Pingback: Estimating The Construction Equipment Sales Market - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  68. Pingback: Meeting New Business Challenges - The Project Manager Of The Future - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  69. Pingback: Blogging Can Help You Get Your Business Noticed. - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  70. Pingback: Franchise In Fitness - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  71. Pingback: 70% Of Marketers Are Not In Control Of Their LinksDavide De Guz - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  72. Pingback: The Four Secrets To Wealth & Success - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  73. Pingback: When Is The Best Time TO GO PUBLISH WITH YOUR COMPANY? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  74. Pingback: What Comes To Mind When You Read The Advertisement "Entrepreneurs Wanted"? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  75. Pingback: 5 Content Marketing Ideas For April 2021 - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  76. Pingback: Water With A Private Label And Event Planning - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  77. Pingback: Entrepreneurship: The Great American Dream Or A Nightmare? - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  78. Pingback: Guide To Native Advertising In 2021 - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  79. Pingback: How To Remove Negative Information From The InternetSameer Somal - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  80. Pingback: Net Promoter Scores: Seven Quick Ways To Improve Them - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  81. Pingback: A Basic Product Plus Added Value Equals Increased Profits! - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  82. Pingback: 4 Essential Tips For Auditing Google Ads Accounts Via @SusanEDub - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  83. Pingback: Getting Your B2B Team On The Digital Train - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  84. Pingback: 70% Of Marketers Are Not In Control Of Their Links - Hire A Virtual Assistant

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.