What Is a Viable vs Feasible Business? 

what is viable vs feasible business

You’re a small business owner, and you’ve heard the terms “viable” and “feasible” thrown around when discussing business plans. But what do these terms really mean, and how do they relate to you?

Viable business refers to a business model that is capable of sustaining itself and generating profit, while feasible business refers to a business idea that is practical and possible to implement.

While they are often used interchangeably, they actually have different goals and outcomes. In this article, we’ll explore how understanding these terms can significantly impact your business strategy and decision-making. We’ll also delve deep into the definitions, differences and practical applications of “viable” and “feasible” in the business context so you can get your business powering towards success.

A Detailed Explanation of Viable vs Feasible Business

What Does Viable Business Mean?

A viable business is one that has proven its ability to generate revenue and sustain itself in the long term. It’s not just about having a great idea; it’s about having a business model that works. 

This involves your business having a:

  • Strong customer base
  • Competitive edge
  • Financial structure that allows ongoing growth and profitability

A working structure you control is something a lot of business owners overlook, allowing their business to evolve naturally over time or be riddled with mistakes and gaps that leave the core of the business vulnerable and exposed when growth happens.

What Does Feasible Business Mean?

A feasible business refers to the practicality of a business idea. It’s about assessing whether the business can be implemented in the real world. This involves evaluating resources, time, and technical aspects. A feasible business idea may not yet be viable, but it has the potential to become so with the right execution.

This is something I see a lot of as a coach is that business owners start a business because they see the ability to make a lot of money, but there is actually not enough behind what they are selling to take off – it isn’t feasible. You need to pursue something you are passionate about that meets a need, not just something with $$$.

The Intersection of Viability and Feasibility

Sometimes a business can be feasible but not viable, or vice versa. For example, a business idea may be technically feasible but lacks a market, making it non-viable. Conversely, a business could be viable in a booming market but may require resources or technology that are not currently feasible.

The Importance of Both Concepts in Business Planning

Understanding both viability and feasibility is crucial when planning a new business or evaluating an existing one. Both serve as critical checkpoints in your business plan and can help you avoid pitfalls that can lead to a lack of flexibility or even the collapse of your business.

How can a Business Coach Help make my business feasible?

Not every business idea is a winner. If you look at the most successful business owners and brands out there, they’ll admit there were dozens of ideas that failed or got rejected before the household name was achieved.

I think a big way a business coach in Australia can help is to bring some reality to your business dream and pinpoint which areas are working in terms of feasibility and viability and which ones are just not going to make it.

Your business coach in Australia can offer suggestions and pathways you can take to adjust or add flexibility to help you achieve your overall goal of being a business owner.

Having an unbiased experienced business owned in the mix gives you the ability to take off the rose-coloured glasses and see business from a practice point of view. You also need to consider that the business environment and your customers are constantly evolving, so you need to have flexible business systems and structures so you can continue to check in and remain financially viable, no matter how big your business grows.

Here’s what you need to know to make informed decisions in your business journey.

Starting and Growing Your Own Business – What You Need To Know

How Do I Know if My Business Idea is Viable?

Determining the viability of a business usually starts with market research. You’ll need to identify your target audience, understand their needs and assess the competition. 

From there you can develop a business model that outlines how you’ll generate revenue, what your strategies are and your point of difference.

You can also look for further insight into the long-term viability of your business through financial projections, including profit and loss forecasts.

Have you tried a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) test?

The MVP test is used to gauge customer interest and willingness to pay for your product or service. This can be a low-cost way to validate your business idea before fully committing.

How Do I Assess the Feasibility of My Business Idea?

To assess the feasibility of a business idea you’ll want to do a feasibility study.

A feasibility study is a structured method of evaluating the practical aspects of a business idea that includes:

  • Resource allocation
  • Technical requirements
  • Regulatory considerations 

It includes questions like: Do I have access to the necessary resources? Are there any technical barriers? What are the legal requirements?

It takes some time but, by answering these questions you can determine your feasibility from an operational standpoint. If the study reveals insurmountable challenges, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

What Are Some Tools to Help Me Evaluate Viability and Feasibility?

There are various tools and frameworks that can assist you in evaluating both the viability and feasibility of your business idea. 

The Business Model Canvas 

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual framework for developing new or documenting existing business models. 

SWOT Analysis 

SWOT analysis can help you understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to your business idea.

Gantt Chart

For feasibility, a Gantt chart can help you visualise the timeline and resource allocation for your project. 

Financial Modelling Software

Financial modelling software can also be invaluable for running different scenarios to assess both viability and feasibility.

How Do Viability and Feasibility Affect Funding Opportunities?

Understanding the difference between a viable and feasible business is crucial when seeking funding. Investors and lenders are more likely to back a business that has proven viability through solid financials and a strong customer base. 

They also want to know that your business is feasible—that you have the resources, technology, and operational plan to make it a reality.

When preparing a pitch or business plan for potential investors, include both viability and feasibility assessments so they can see how their money will be put to work. This will not only strengthen your proposal but also demonstrate that you’ve thoroughly considered all aspects of your business.

How Can I Make a Non-Viable Business Viable?

If you find that your business is feasible but not yet viable, there are several strategies you can employ. First, revisit your business model. Perhaps there’s a different revenue stream you haven’t considered, or maybe your pricing strategy needs adjustment. Customer feedback can provide invaluable insights into how you can meet market needs more effectively.

Another approach is to pivot. Many successful companies started with a different business model but pivoted when they found a more viable path. Don’t be afraid to make significant changes if they’ll lead to long-term viability.

What Are the Risks of Ignoring These Concepts?

Without a viable business model, you’ll struggle to generate the revenue needed to sustain operations. Without feasibility, you may encounter insurmountable obstacles that prevent your business from ever getting off the ground.

It’s also worth noting that ignoring these concepts can make it difficult to secure funding. Investors and lenders want to minimise risk, and a business that hasn’t adequately addressed these issues is a risky proposition.

What is Viable vs Feasible Business? – Final Thoughts

This article has shed some light on viable and feasible and what they mean in the context of business. These aren’t just buzzwords; they’re critical concepts that can significantly impact your business strategy and decision-making. 

Assessing your business viability and feasibility can help you evaluate risk, build lasting business plans and operating systems as well as gain funding to help fulfil your business potential.

Take the time to assess both the viability and feasibility of your business idea—it’s an investment that could pay off exponentially in the long run.

If you need help in assessing or defining any aspect of your business feasibility, book a free ‘meet and greet’ call and get a helping hand.

What is Viable vs Feasible Business? – FAQs

1. How do I know if a business is viable?

To determine if a business is viable, you need to assess various factors. Start by conducting thorough market research to understand your target audience, competition, and industry trends. Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, revenue projections, and expenses. Consider the financial aspects, such as startup costs, funding sources, and profitability forecasts. Additionally, test your business idea by seeking feedback from potential customers and experts in your field. A viable business should have a clear path to sustainability and growth.

2. What is a feasible business idea?

A feasible business idea is one that has the potential to be turned into a successful and profitable venture. Feasibility depends on several factors, including market demand, your skills and resources, and the uniqueness of your concept. It should address a genuine need in the market and be based on a realistic assessment of your capabilities and available resources. Feasible ideas often align with your passion and expertise while also considering economic, technical, and operational feasibility.

3. How can you say if your business is feasible?

Assessing the feasibility of your business involves a systematic evaluation. Start by researching your target market to understand its size, demographics, and trends. Then, analyse your competition and identify gaps or opportunities in the market. Consider your own skills, resources, and the potential risks involved. Develop a financial plan to estimate startup costs, revenue projections, and profitability. Finally, seek feedback from trusted advisors, mentors, or potential customers to validate your concept. A feasible business is one that aligns with market realities and your own capabilities.

4. What is the difference between feasible and viable business?

The main difference between a feasible and a viable business lies in their stages of development and the level of certainty about their success:

A feasible business is at the conceptual stage. It has the potential to work on paper, but it hasn’t been fully tested or implemented yet. It’s a preliminary idea that needs further validation.

A viable business, on the other hand, has moved beyond the concept phase. It has been tested in the market and has demonstrated its ability to generate revenue, cover expenses, and grow sustainably. A viable business is proven to be successful and has a clear path to profitability.

5. Why is it important to know if the business is viable or not?

Knowing if a business is viable is crucial because it directly impacts your chances of success and the allocation of your resources. Understanding viability helps you avoid investing time and money into ventures with low potential for success. It allows you to make informed decisions, secure funding more effectively, and plan for the long-term sustainability of your business. Identifying viability early on also enables you to adapt and pivot if necessary, increasing your chances of achieving your business goals and maximising profitability. In essence, assessing viability is a fundamental step in building a successful and sustainable business.