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Unit 1 Assessing Your Business Idea

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

We take a look at the steps you’ll go through during the first unit of the Entrepreneur Launch Academy. In this unit you’ll first be assessing the viability of your Business Idea using a selection of assessments carried out over the first few days.

This is a crucial step many people skip when launching a new business with limited time or recourses. Our own optimism bias towards business success can encourage us to jump straight in without testing the core beliefs to why we think a great idea works.

Before carrying out any kind of planning for your business you first need to identify the assumptions behind why you think it will work in theory. Formulating a business hypothesis is the first checkpoint towards a successful project.

Unpack your business idea into a set of assumptions

Often its not until we write down our business idea that we begin considering how to refine and present it more clearly. The overall concept of your business needs to be broken into several key assumptions that you will later test.

Let’s look at the unit example for Rose Yard Cupcakes.

This concept statement includes some key information

‘vegan cupcakes’ Niche product

‘Manchester area’ Local Sales

‘locally sourced ingredients’ promotes local sustainability

‘electricity powered van.’ promotes environment friendly solutions

Break your concept statement down - identify 3-4 assumptions that would need to be true for your business to profit successfully.

Rose Yard Cupcakes – Business Assumptions

  • We believe office staff will always want a quality, ready to hand cupcake at their breaks.

  • We believe customers will pay a premium for cupcakes that are vegan and have been ethically created and delivered

  • We believe that after an initial launch we will not have to do any paid marketing and that income will come through repeat orders and word of mouth.

  • We believe that only selling cupcakes will give help our brand be distinctive.

Test your Assumptions

Next you will need to test those assumptions.

Test your business assumptions using appropriate assessment tools.

During this part of the unit you will learn about a selection of assessment methods you can use to test your assumptions. Depending on the needs of your own startup you will be encouraged you to carry out some of your assessment efforts on people who are a good representation of your target market, using for example a local survey or poll.

This part of the unit will need some planning and effort but will also provide you with valuable insights into how other people perceive your idea working.

You will need to complete 4 individual assessments to complete this unit.

Analysing your results

Now that you’ve got a selection of data around the workings of your business idea, you next need to interpret those results.

We’ve included ready to use templates together with the working examples from this unit in the Entrepreneur Business Template Pack. This is an easy to use resource containing the templates used during Units 1-3 of courses for the ATHE Award and Certificate in Entrepreneurship.

Planning the next steps

The last step to completing this unit is to identify how you will proceed with your business idea based on your results. A key decision-making point in the development of your project;

  • To proceed with your idea as planned (persevere)

  • To proceed with your idea but making minor tweaks based on your analysis (pivot)

  • To proceed with your idea but making major adjustments to your idea based on your analysis (pivot)

  • To not proceed with your idea at all (kill)

You'll develop these next steps further in Unit 2 Planning Your New Business


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