I've plenty of business ideas and I understand, that the best way to make them successful is by working on them exclusively for some time. It's sometimes difficult to keep going though, if there is no larger success on the way.
I've noticed that I'm usually giving up after about a month - I'm simply loosing motivation... and I skip to another one :/ - I hate it!
With a new business , you could start with going for what you most passionate about and don't think too much about the profits yet..
Develop your ideas doing what you love most and then invest in those ideas for some months.
Then wait for whatever you invest your time and energy to must yield profitable results..
There isn't a specific period of time, however it could pay off later or you could waste a lot of your time trying it. Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba group said in one interview, "in business today is difficult, tomorrow is even more difficult but the day after tomorrow is beautiful. Most people give up tomorrow evening." So i'd say give it time, but if something isn't clearly working over a long period probably because of where you're doing it or how you're doing it, don't waste anymore time and capital on it. Switch onto something else!
It's really hard to stay focused, especially when getting feedback is weird because you'll receive biased information. I have an idea I'm working on, I'm reshaping and refactoring, while trying to interview possible unbiased people.
Sometimes the bast way to stay focused is to put some version out there and see if it gets a bit of traction. Seeing something grow will give you motivation.
Having a clear image of who's going to benefit from your idea will also bring you excitement faster, having a defined target makes it more impactful.
I totally agree with Dragos Stancu about putting out a version there for people to see and you can gauge feedback. It is exactly what we did with Its a project management tool for teams and organizations to track their work, so we had to put it there for as many to do just that. Then we take feedback and improve on our platform from there.
I typically reply emails and messages a lot in the day and its usually users asking "Can we do this?" or "Can you make it possible for us to do this?" and more and more feedback. It helps us iterate and keeps the challenge fresh everyday, so motivation is always on full bar.
Try and commit to pushing something out there. That is always the hardest part.
We spent three years with our startup bizzieMe.
I worked my butt off yet we couldn't figure out the actual market.
We ended up closing it due to lack of focus.
Some founders were hoping for investors and were just waiting for Santa Claus.
Bootstrapping is the best because you can kill everything without consequences.
Many people dream of the hockey stick growth but that's really hard to achieve.
This not about the amount of time you spend on your idea.
It's all about developing some skills that help you read red/yellow/green signals.
I use to call "business idea vetting" skills.
You will need to learn the following specific skills related to business idea vetting.
1/ sniff testing
This is the capacity to split your ideas into small parts and assess the likeliness of each part to be a contributor to the overall success of your future business without spending time and resources doing standard market research. It can help you identify winners and looser early and help you save precious time and resources.
2/ customer development and market research
This is the capacity to identify the best people to talk to, the best places to find them, the best way to approach them, how to talk to them so that they are not getting bored, what to ask to get a comprehensive and useful insights for your business.
3/ financial modelling for startup
This is the capacity to check whether or not your idea/customer/market align to generate enough value and money to build a sustainable business.
4/ Capacity to generate back-up ideas or sub-ideas. As you move further and deeper in customer development, you will probably notice that the current version of your idea is a b*llsh*t. This can lead to panic if you don't have backups. You can be either disappointed and abandon (smart decision) or stubborn and continue (foolish decision).
5/ Capacity to identify early which part of your business idea is too weak to be pursed
Hope this helps.
Feel free to join me on LinkedIn or send me a private message here if you need further help.
QUICK UPDATE: I've just ended my co-operations with one of the startups I got involved into.
It was about launching the product in Poland, so I've translated the website, contacted influencers, created database and send over 40 personalized e-mails to well-qualified prospects. All for free, just for learning (commission was also mentioned).
My gut feeling told me it's a waste of time, and my head said the opposite.
I've listened to my gut instinct and feel so relieved. I'm able to concentrate on the other startups again.
Looks like sales stuff is not for me, although I know it's also a big part of entrepreneurship.