Manage your research, design and development

Eliminating ideas that are not viable


Not all ideas, products or services will be financially or technically viable. You should establish the viability of your project before you invest too much time and money into it and risk financial problems.

You can take some key steps to help determine if your project will be viable:

  • Complete thorough market research to make sure that you're investing in a product that customers will want.
  • Determine the right price for your product or service at a point that your customers would be willing to pay.
  • Carry out a patent search to check that your idea is new and won't be competing against something already established in the market. 
  • Draw up clear business plans and budgets and review them regularly. Follow best practice on budgets and business planning.
  • Involve people with relevant skills or knowledge who can tell you what is and isn't feasible.
  • Split the project up into steps and review the project at the end of each stage.
  • Listen to the advice you are given and don't be afraid to drop unrealistic projects.

Selecting your projects carefully will help you to take forward only those ideas which will create value for your business.

Find detailed guidance on idea selection from Innovate NI and watch their short animation to learn how to complete the selection process correctly.

Businesses in Northern Ireland can also get assistance with research, development and innovation from Invest Northern Ireland.