So you’ve been talking to your friends, co-workers and relatives for the last year about this “really great” idea you have for a start-up company, but you haven’t summoned the nerve to try to make it work?
To help calm those jitters, a New York-based company has launched a new Web site (www.whatsthepotential.com) to help aspiring entrepreneurs figure out if the concept they’ve spent hours toiling over can be turned into a moneymaker.
NFC Inc., a company offering consulting services for more than 20 years, has assembled a group of experts in various fields who will evaluate and then provide a written opinion on an idea’s feasibility. Company President Steve Ruttenberg says the service is available to individuals and companies who want to turn their ideas into profits.
“A lot of people waste time and money developing an idea when they ought to first get an expert opinion on whether or not they should even move forward,” he says. “We provide this low-cost high-level service in order to identify people and ideas that we can potentially partner with, and thus help them rapidly grow.”
For $20, users can log onto the Web site and start a three-step process to receive an expert opinion. First, users must upload a brief description and summary of their business idea. Next, the idea is assigned to an expert, whose task it is to evaluate its potential.
Within 48 hours, the aspiring entrepreneur receives a written opinion about the feasibility of his or her idea.
Some of the factors considered when an idea is submitted for review are: Does the idea fill a need or solve a problem? What does the revenue model look like? What are the start-up costs? What is the risk vs. reward ratio?
NFC taps experts in numerous fields - from e-commerce to infomercials, from public relations to print production – to help determine which ideas will be successful. Although the company has more than two decades of experience in the consulting-services field, NFC officials urge would-be entrepreneurs to trust their own instincts.
“The opinion is coming from an expert. However, all opinions are still simply opinions,” according to the company. “If you decide to move forward with your idea, we strongly advise you to seek the advice of professionals such as lawyers, accountants and professional consultants.”
According to the Web site, the firm understands “the need to review proprietary ideas with the utmost care. We only disclose your ideas to those who are providing an opinion on the potential of those ideas.” The firm also recommends that users take steps to protect their ideas from theft.
Besides copyrighting, which is inexpensive but can be time-consuming, NFC suggests entrepreneurs write out a detailed description of their idea, sign and date it, have it witnessed and notarized, and then store it in a safe place.