by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

It’s great to start a new business because you’re fired up about a product or service that you really want to offer. But does the idea make sense from a business perspective?

1. Is there a real need for the offering?

Is there a real need in the marketplace, or is it just something you WANT to do.

2. Will it save time/money or improve the quality of life?

People might buy something once for the novelty, but to gain repeat customers you better be making a difference in their lives.

3. How big is the market?

Is the market large enough to justify the time/effort/expense to get this business going?

4. What does the competition look like?

I often hear women say they have no competition, but you’ve always got competition, even if it’s just doing without. Do the research to identify the competition so you’ll know what you’re up against.

5. Will it make money?

A friend once said, “The only thing worse than doing nothing, is doing something for nothing.” Be sure you’ve added ALL your costs in (including the cost of your time) and that your pricing will allow you to make a reasonable profit.