A feasibility study looks at the viability of an idea with an emphasis on identifying potential problems and attempts to answer one main question: Will the idea work and should you proceed with it?
Before you begin writing your business plan you need to identify how, where, and to whom you intend to sell a service or product. You also need to assess your competition and ﬁgure out how much money you need to start your business and keep it running until it is established.
Feasibility studies address things like where and how the business will operate. They provide in-depth details about the business to determine if and how it can succeed, and serve as a valuable tool for developing a winning business plan.
Feasibility studies aim to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing business or proposed venture, opportunities and threats present in the environment, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success. In its simplest terms, the two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required and value to be attained.
A well-designed feasibility study should provide a historical background of the business or project, a description of the product or service, accounting statements, details of the operations and management, marketing research and policies, ﬁnancial data, legal requirements and tax obligations. Generally, feasibility studies precede technical development and project implementation.
A feasibility study evaluates the project’s potential for success; therefore, perceived objectivity is an important factor in the credibility of the study for potential investors and lending institutions. It must therefore be conducted with an objective, unbiased approach to provide information upon which decisions can be based.
Reasons to Do a Feasibility Study
Conducting a feasibility study is a good business practice. If you examine successful businesses, you will find that they did not go into a new business venture without first thoroughly examining all of the issues and assessing the probability of business success.
Below are other reasons to conduct a feasibility study:
Gives focus to the project and outline alternatives.
Narrows business alternatives.
Identifies new opportunities through the investigative process.
Identifies reasons not to proceed.
Enhances the probability of success by addressing and mitigating factors early on that could affect the project.
Provides quality information for decision making.
Provides documentation that the business venture was thoroughly investigated.
Helps in securing funding from lending institutions and other monetary sources.
Helps to attract equity investment.
The feasibility study is a critical step in the business assessment process. If properly conducted, it may be the best investment you ever made.