February 14, 2024
5 minutes

How I quickly evaluate business ideas as a Solo Entrepreneur

After having been in the corporate innovation game for quite some time I am now back in the "real startup world" and try to find a nice little business idea which can be done ideally as a Solo Entrepreneur with AI or with a very small team. So here is my simple 10 step approach how I currently approach potential ideas:

  1. Identify a target group and do some basic desk research (what are they doing, market size etc.). Example: Doctors in Germany who are just starting their profession.
  2. Talk to them to figure out their problems, needs and pain points (e.g. a lot of time is wasted writing the official documentation for these doctors) 
  3. Brainstorm what you could do for them leveraging my understanding of the state of tech, recently changed regulation/market forces etc. (e.g. the power of GPT4)
  4. Evaluate & prioritize business ideas based on these 5 dimensions based on my current understanding of them: Desirability (Does it solve a real problem?), Feasibility (Can I build it within a few weeks/months?), Marketability (Can I reach the target group easily with my means?), Viability (Can I make money? What's the business model?), Personal Fit (Do I want to work on this? Do I have an unfair advantage?)
  5. Build a landing page with Framer.com with a CTA to either directly talk with me on WhatsApp, download something for free or immediately buy sth via Stripe (you can refund later). (e.g. https://medimentor.alldone.app/). This takes 1-2 days. Get yourself a dedicated SIM-Card for your ideas so you don't spam your personal account.
  6. Write about it on Social Media and/or start a small advertising campaign to Facebook / Google Ads / TikTok / Reddit to get in front of your target group (Figure out where your target group hangs out!).
  7. If if works and you get people who actually want to buy it for reasonable marketing costs (CAC needs to be at least 2x < CLV) only then start thinking about actually building this. If not go back to step 3 or 4 and iterate.
  8. Build a first version within a month or so with no/low-code tools
  9. While building, continue collecting interested customers on a mailing list with your Landing page and keep optimizing the value proposition and talking to your customers.
  10. Launch commercially and iterate / improve.

I am currently in step 6 with the first idea. I do not plan to go through the whole process with one idea before trying out the next idea. While I can have a landing page live within within a couple of days or a week I will likely need to wait 1-2 weeks to see if the marketing campaign works. So the plan is to do things in parallel and maybe work on a few ideas at once. If after a few iterations the idea does not work then kill it and move on.

Let's see how many ideas i need to try out before I find something that sticks. Thank you for reading and wish me luck :)