Sometime in 2016, I had what I thought was a brilliant (business) idea. A Mobile Barber/Salon Service. Our Competitive Advantage: Convenience! The more I thought and worked through it, the more excited I got about it. I was hooked!

I had just been introduced to the Business Model Canvas, so I spent quite a while refining the idea. The average number of times men (need to) cut their hair, average costs, equipment, marketing, customer service, head massages, byonna. I felt pretty bullish. It was clear in my head that only start-up capital stood between me and wealth. 

Then, one day over lunch, I shared the idea with my boss at the time.

“When is the last time you went to a new salon?” He asked. 

That was the first loophole in my idea. Even I wouldn’t be my own customer. 

You see, I have changed salons only twice in my adult life. In both instances, because my barbers had relocated. Most will only change their barber if they move into a new neighbourhood. We are loyal like that

“Okay. But what about those with emergencies?” I mused. 

Hair emergencies?  Like what?  How many, to make the business viable? I started to wonder if this was a great idea after all. It seemed practically impracticable. As you might already know, I didn’t go on to pursue it.

Of course, that’s not to say someone else can’t do it and make a killing from it. It’s just that it wasn’t going to be me…if I wasn’t even going to use the service myself. It just wasn’t (for) me. And that’s why they say that ideas are a dime a dozen.

It’s not enough to have a great idea. If you can’t build a solid product/service or revenue out of it then it’s just that. Sometimes the best validation you can get is to see someone execute an idea you thought about & be happy it found a life outside of your incapabilities. 

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Written by Benjamin Rukwengye (1)

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