It is a nightmare for many would-be entrepreneurs to hear that their startup idea already exists. Unfortunately, identifying new innovation gaps on the market can be quite painful. Is your great business idea taken? Read and find out.

How to check if your startup idea already exists? – table of contents:

  1. A copycat business
  2. 5 steps to test any business idea
  3. Summary

A copycat business

It is often said that there is no point in reinventing the wheel. According to Mark Twain, there is no such thing as an original business idea since you always build on something that has been already invented. Even if it might have been exagerrated a bit, it is true to say that coming up with an utterly new business concept is extremely difficult.

Several companies that are considered innovative today weren’t based on original ideas at all. Take Instacart, for example, which is valued at $8 billion and provides on-demand food delivery services. This company copied the idea of WebVan, which had been launched a few years earlier and failed miserably. Although Steve Jobs didn’t invent the computer, Apple succeeded anyway, so did Facebook and Google.

startup idea

5 steps to test any business idea

Start with Google search

Thanks to the Internet, it’s fairly quick and easy to verify if your startup idea has been already developed. Google search results can provide a lot of relevant information. You just need to use the right keywords:

  • Keywords describing problems. A good business idea often solves people’s problems, so it is worth checking what issues are important and how people try to solve them.
  • Keywords focusing on functionality. Refer to what your startup will actually do and what functions are to be provided.
  • Keywords referring to benefits. Focus on the benefits that the customer will get by using a particular product or service.

Contact business consultants

A good solution will be to contact a business consultant. Business consultants know the market inside out. They advise and invest money in various business ideas, and thus have an excellent understanding of what ventures are currently being launched.

They will not only quickly verify the originality of your startup idea, but also help to assess whether it has any chance of survival on the competetive market or not. A business consultant can also help you obtain funds for your business if it shows a high potential for success.

startup idea

Look for patents and trademarks

The process of searching for trademarks and patents can also provide information about whether your startup idea is original or if someone has stolen your thunder. However, this is not an easy task. You can use various websites (e.g. Google Patents, Patentscope, Escapenet) by typing in relevant keywords. It is also worth hiring a professional who deals with patent issues on a daily basis and knows exactly how and where to look for information about them.

Take an innovative approach

At the beginning of this publication, we mentioned Instacart, which was successful even though it used the idea of a company that had previously failed on the market. Therefore, if your startup idea already existed and did not succeed, it does not mean that you have to give up on it. After all, it all depends on the implementation.

You ought to get in touch with your potential customers and ask them if they have ever used a similar service or product. If they have, you need to find out why they have stopped using it. It is also worth asking if they would buy such a product if it was improved.

It should be noted that if the same idea has already been implemented, but the market knows nothing or little about it, you still have a prospect of success. In professional terms, this is called a first-mover advantage (FMA) and is all about outrunning the competition to get customers.

Validate your business idea

Validating your business idea can enable you to reasonably assess whether people will buy your product or service, and whether your business will be profitable. If the market is not interested in such a concept, it doesn’t really matter if someone else is already pursuing it. This means that it will not turn into a business success.

Startup idea – summary

Finally, you still need to answer the question whether it’s really a problem that your startup idea already exists. Do your research and reach out to customers of startups with the same concept as yours. It’s worth asking them why they use their services and if they know any alternatives. This will let you find out how to draw them away from the competition and offer them a better product.

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How to find out if your startup idea already exists? 5 simple and easy steps andy nichols avatar 1background

Author: Andy Nichols

A problem solver with 5 different degrees and endless reserves of motivation. This makes him a perfect Business Owner & Manager. When searching for employees and partners, openness and curiosity of the world are qualities he values the most.

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