Think you have a great business idea?

Is your business idea worth pursuing? Can it make you a fortune? Or is it a waste of time? Get your business idea rated fast and free. Based on the C.E.N.T.S. Framework™ authored by entrepreneur MJ DeMarco.


About Your Business Idea

INSTRUCTIONS: Grade My Business Idea follows a GIGO model: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Bad data in will get you bad data out. Honest answers and accurate data assessment is required to render an accurate conclusion. Before answering questions, please have some basic knowledge on your idea's industry and market.

User submissions and specific data provided are completely private unless shared. Outside of total ideas submitted for scoring, NO DATA SUBMITTED at this website is stored or archived.

Question 1: The Need, Solution, and Value Skew

How unique and differentiated will your product or service be? What will make your business STAND-OUT differently from other similar options? What advantages will there be to buying from you versus someone else? How many value attributes will you be skewing? Positively skewed value attributes, such as better ingredients, better packaging, better service, better features, better price, better this, better that, make up the aggregate of your offer. The more skewed attributes, the more unique and valuable your offer becomes.

When people perceive value through unique skews (your X,Y, and Z is so much better!) it compels buyers.

  • If your idea (or its marketing) is extremely unique and provides a ton of value, your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If your idea is somewhat unique and valuable, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If your idea is not much different from what already exists, 1 - 3.
  • If your idea is identical to others or is a commodity, your answer would be 0.
WARNING: Misjudging value is the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make. Most ventures fail because no need ever existed, or the need and its solution is mispriced relative to what already exists.
Question 2: Entry Into The Marketplace
How much time, money, and expertise is involved in the creation of your business, from idea to launch into the marketplace? Once you start your business, how difficult will it be for some other person or company to compete with you? Is getting in business as simple as filling out a form and buying some products? Or is it a complicated endeavor consisting of problem solving, specialized skill, creative juice, and/or money? Example A: You completed an online form and now sell t-shirts. Your launch process was one hour. Example B: You invent a new product that requires CAD design and special manufacturing. Between engineering, prototyping and manufacturer sourcing, your launch process was six months and $15K.

Typically the easier it is to enter a market, the worse the opportunity is as margins and value skew opportunities erode.

  • If your idea requires a lot of time, money, and skill to get to market, your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If a moderate level of time, money, and skill is needed to get to market, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If you can launch your business in a matter of days or weeks, you're answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If you can launch your business in a matter of minutes or hours, you're answer would be 0.
Question 3: Control and Third-Party Dependency
Will your business be RELIANT and SUBORDINATE to a third-party for its existence? In other words, can ONE parent company arbitrarily make a decision or a policy change and put you out of business?

Examples: You join a network marketing company (Avon/Amway/Herbalife) where your business is a function of the parent company. If the parent goes bankrupt, so do you. You create a mobile game that only works on the Facebook platform. If Facebook changes some policy or removes your game, you're out of business. You import a product which is only sold on Amazon. If Amazon terminates your account, you're out of business. Optimally, while all businesses will leverage third-parties for a variety of functions (advertising, manufacturing, administration) not ONE company should have the power to instantaneously destroy your business.

While third-party parent-child relationships can work out, sometimes indefinitely, they post a substantial risk.

  • If you have a third-party risk with ONE company, your answer would be 0.
  • If you have third-party risk but it is diversified among a few companies, your answer would range 1 - 4.
  • If you have third-party risk but it is diversified among a many companies, your answer would range 5 - 9.
  • If you have no third-party risk, your answer is 10.
Question 4: Automation (You and The Product)
Will your business be dependent on your time or skill for revenue generation? Or are you creating something tangible that can sell on its own, not tied to YOUR time, but tied to time in general? How easy or hard would it be to REMOVE yourself from the business?

Is revenue generation dependent on YOU, or will it be centered on a concept, product, or system that can sell 24/7? Or is your business 100% reliant on your work and/or your existence? Example A: You're a web developer and earn income designing websites. When you stop working, your income also stops. Example B: You invent a product that is sold worldwide in retail stores; the product is salable 24/7.

  • If your business can run 24/7 without your involvement, your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If your business idea will require moderate modification to run 24/7, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If your business idea requires most of your time for revenue generation, your answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If your business idea is dependent on your time or specific skill, say massage therapy or onsite consulting, your answer would be 0.
Question 5: Replication of Product/Solution

How easy or hard will it be to replicate your product/service/solution over and over once you conquer its creation process? Example A: You invent a product that required some engineering. Once it is prototyped and manufactured, replicating it is simply a matter of placing a larger order with the manufacturer. Example B: You write a book that took you 1 year to write, and printing it 1,000,000 times is as simple as a print order. Example C: You are a high priced consultant but only can consult X many hours per week.

  • If you can replicate your business solution with relative ease, your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If you can replicate your business solution with moderate work, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If you cannot replicate your business solution without significant work, your answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If you cannot replicate your business solution easily or if it is tied to time, your answer would be 0.
Question 6: Market Size (Scale and/or Magnitude)

If your business idea serves a smaller market but is a BIG TICKET item (magnitude VS scale) your rating here will need to reflect that. Building homes has high magnitude, selling a book has low magnitude.

How many people or business organizations will find your business idea/solution valuable? Or, what is the magnitude of the value you're providing? Does one sale deliver profit of $5? Or $500,000? What is the total market size you are targeting? Twenty million? Or Twenty billion? Or similarly, how many people could consume your product, either through direct purchase, or third-party? Example A: You invent a product that car manufacturers would purchase. Your buyers aren't car owners, but car manufacturers. Still, your market is every car owner indirectly through a B2B intermediary. Example B: You wrote a book that helps mothers homeschool quintuplets. Your market is small.

  • If your market size is substantial and billions of entities could be buyers, or the total magnitidual value is substantial your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If your market size is moderate and millions of entities could be buyers, or if you're offering moderate magnitudal value, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If your market size is smaller and thousands of entities could be buyers, your answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If your market size is small and hundreds of entities could be buyers with little magnitudal value, your answer would be zero.
Question 7: Type of Use

Can your business idea be consumed repeatedly? Or is it purchased only once? Example A: You formulate a vegan food product which can be purchased over and over, perhaps weekly. Example B: You run a software service that deploys a monthly subscription. Example C: You write book that can only be read once.

  • If your business idea/solution can be consumed repeatedly, like food, your answer would range 9 - 10.
  • If your business idea/solution can be consumed periodically, say monthly or through a subscription, your answer would range 4 - 8.
  • If your business idea/solution can be consumed very few times, your answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If your business idea/solution can only be used/read once, your answer would be zero.
Question 8: Access to Markets

How hard is it to reach your potential buyers, or to determine who they are? Are there mediums and channels that hit your desired market? Example A: You invent a human resource management system for mid to large sized companies. Your buyer would be a C-Suite executive who is not easily reached, either directly thru contact or indirectly by an advertising medium, such as Facebook. Example B: You formulate a product that skiers would love. There are many channels and mediums that could target skiers.

  • If you can target your market with relative ease, your answer would range 8 - 10.
  • If you can target your market with some moderate effort, your answer would range 4 - 7.
  • If targeting your market is hard and/or laborious, your answer would range 1 - 3.
  • If targeting your market is nearly impossible, your answer would be zero.
Submit for Grading

REMINDER: Your business idea's grade is based on the information you provided and follows the GIGO principle: Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you were not subjectively honest in your answers, or if your answers were based on faulty research and/or data, your grade will not be accurate.