Get All Access for $5/mo

Avoid The Regret: Three Warning Signs You're About To Start A Wrong Business Want to start a business? Here are vital indicators the business you're considering might not be right.

By Shakir Akorede Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Shutterstcok

Entrepreneurship is soaring in the Middle East. According to research by MAGNiTT, the annual investment in startups across MENA is closely US$1 billion. Between February and December of 2016, two major success stories from the region dominated headlines worldwide: Souq, a Dubai-based ecommerce marketplace, and Careem, a transportation network company.

Generally, the growth rate has been nothing short of intriguing. However, the fact that eight out of 10 businesses fail every year, is a strong warning about starting a new business, which every entrepreneurial mind must pay attention to.

In 2017 alone, 10 of the most funded American startups -with combined $1.695 billion venture capital funding- shut their doors. Apart from this, the story of Damien Patton, the Banjo founder "who raised $4 million, built a great app, and realized everything was wrong" is another startling reference that a business idea may initially sound great but end up a big flop.

Before you get stuck midway, below are vital indicators the business you're considering might not be right.

1. You're not passionate about it

If serial entrepreneurs have only one secret of success, it's passion. Explaining "how to know you're building the wrong company," Damien Patton emphasizes one thing: the absence of passion.

Patton is not alone. Jeff Bezos gives a directive advice while reviewing the secret behind Amazon's astonishing rise: "Never chase the hot thing, you need to position yourself and wait for the wave. And the way you do that is you pick something you're passionate about." Obviously, running a business without passion makes it impossible to confront the inevitable challenges hence failure.

However, it's not absurd to look outside the passion corridor. But must you weave the business into your ardour? Absolutely. Virgin CEO Richard Branson did exactly that when he launched Virgin Money in 1995.

2. The business is not problem-solving

Coming up with the right business idea is one thing. Validating it is another. This means your idea, passion aside, must match consumer needs. So, be sure to ask yourself: What existing problem does it solve? What vacuum does it fill? If you have a clear, concise and compelling response, then it's great. If not, it's not.

Innovation isn't for all, but a business must offer a distinctive value, at least by solving a problem quite effectively. Uber, for instance, solves an existing problem by transforming taxi service with a location-based app. Today, the company thrives as it meets the needs of two groups simultaneously: riders and drivers.

"If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act," says Bill Gates. If not, your business is waiting to crumble.

3. Your business idea wows no one

Finally, and in what may probably give a clearer assurance, pitch your idea to other people and accept the feedbacks in good faith. Either you trust your guts or not, this is essential. A great idea will puzzle no one.

Take this from me: if all the feedbacks are thumbs-down, it's the wrong business. Those you shared your ideas with are potential customers. As such, their judgement goes a long way in determining the market need for your product and, ultimately, your success.

Related: Five Hacks For A Fail-Proof Business

Shakir Akorede

Founder of 501 Words

Shakir Akorede is a writer, digital entrepreneur and the founder of 501 Words. He's equally a researcher and a young professional in foreign policy.

Growth Strategies

Connecting Strategy With Purpose: A Shared Vision For Dubai's Quality Of Life

The unveiling of the Dubai Quality of Life Strategy 2033 marks a new era in the Emirate that is focused on prioritizing resident well-being and happiness.

Finance

Cairo-Headquartered Beltone Holding Achieves Net Profit Of EGP514 Million In Q1 Of 2024

The company's consolidated financial and operational results for the period ending March 31, 2024 revealed remarkable growth.

Entrepreneurs

Here Are The 20 Startups Selected For The Eighth Cohort Of The MBRIF Innovation Accelerator Program

The final participants of the year-long program were selected from over 200 applicants from across 35 countries.

News and Trends

UAE-Based Shorooq Partners Makes First Investment In Türkiye By Leading A US$5 Million Seed Round In Traveltech Startup Roamless

Mahmoud Adi, Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners, said in a statement that Roamless is "a company poised to disrupt the traveltech industry."

Technology

Nurturing Connections: UBQT Co-Founders Jonathan L. Hasson And Lara Varjabedian

Jonathan L. Hasson and Lara Varjabedian, co-founders of UAE-born social networking app UBQT, are on a mission to help people reconnect in-person with those who (really) matter.

News and Trends

"We Got Funded!" UAE-Based Mysafe Raises A US$4 Million Series A Round To Fuel Its Expansion

The Series A round was led by Evanox, a venture capital firm known for its strategic investments in high-growth technology companies.