If you’re thinking of starting or developing a new business, a good way to test your idea is to use the central driving forces model. This model makes you think about your venture from three standpoints: your founders, opportunities, and resources. By thinking about the positives and negatives in each area, you can figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your potential new business.
Your venture’s first driving force, its founders, includes both you and your business partners. Consider the talents you and your partners bring to the table, along with your expertise. For example, if you have done business in this industry before, you may have an advantage. Along with thinking about what you’re good at, consider what you need to learn or aren’t yet comfortable with.
Second, think about the opportunities of your venture. These may include the markets you plan to fill and the customer needs you hope to address. If you know of other similar businesses that you’ll be competing against, list out your strengths and weaknesses as well as the features that set you apart.
Third, consider the resources your company needs to develop the business. These resources may include cash, raw materials, and equipment, plus a physical storefront and online presence.
After listing all your strengths and weaknesses, step back and look at your venture as a whole. If the strengths outweigh the weaknesses, you have a viable business idea. If you have more weaknesses, the central driving forces model is telling you the driving forces of your venture aren’t strong. In this case, before jumping into your new business idea, take time to strengthen these three main forces, since they’re going to have a very large impact.