Significant commercial potential

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You may think your idea has good commercial potential, but something else matters more: other people have to think so too.

Significant commercial potential means the prospect of sales and profit on a large enough scale to make all the risk generated by your idea worth taking.

Businesses in particular will need strong evidence that your product will sell, as they are the ones who may have to spend millions of euros to get it to market. In business there is no such thing as a guaranteed winner. For every new product that sells well, there will be other new products that sell poorly.

What most companies will look for is:

  • Something that can give them (usually through strong IP) a commanding or even monopoly position in the market.
  • Something that consumers will want in preference to competing products.
  • Something that offers a good return on investment.
  • Something that offers a clear, low-risk route to market.

From your searches and investigations, what evidence can you present to companies or investors that your idea has the potential to meet these requirements?

For guidance, new products tend to fall into three broad categories:

  • Exceptional products which dominate their market and set new standards.
  • Good but unexciting products which offer opportunities for a business to increase its profits or its market share.
  • Unexceptional products which offer just one more choice among alternatives.

In which category would most people place your idea?

You need to evaluate any opinion you have had so far from businesses or individuals with expert knowledge of relevant markets. A lack of evidence in favour of your idea could mean one of three things:

  • The commercial prospects for your idea are poor.
  • Your idea may need re-thinking to make it more commercially viable.
  • Your idea may only succeed if you become an entrepreneur and market it yourself.

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