How can I test my business idea?
I hear a lot of people ask this question. The reason they ask this is actually why so few people go into business over regular employment. They fear that they will work extremely hard for a few months and it will come to nothing, whereas if they stayed being employed this hard work would be rewarded through overtime payments. There are a few methods which can be used to test your business idea, different methods will suit different ideas so be sure to choose wisely.
Put your idea online to get feedback.
There are a few sites online where you can get good feedback. Sites like ukbusinessforums and this site, ideas reaction, will have members review your idea and give you hopefully constructive feedback. Be prepared for some at times harsh feedback but remember in a way this is more helpful than everyone just praising your idea.
Ask Family and friends.
Probably the first thing you will do is ask your family and friends what they think of your business idea. You have to be careful how you assess this advice however. A lot of people’s families will give good feedback and some will be more critical than they would with other because people are so combatable with their families and friends. The key is to see how your family’s advice differs from their usual advice. For example if your family is normally very critical and they are critical towards your business idea this may not be a bad thing. I think this is probably the worst type of feedback, but everyone will do it, just make sure you use other methods.
Conduct a survey.
A more old fashioned method but its still very effective. Go into your local town and get members of the public to fill in your survey. Offer a prize to a random person who filled out a survey to encourage people to join in. This method is really great for absolutely impartial information. It will also, if designed correctly, show you which demographic of people are interested in your products.
Landing page- Google ads – Enquires
This is an interesting and innovative idea. Create a landing page and put the outline of your business idea on there. Then pay for about $20 a day of Google ads. If you get enquires then your idea has potential, if you don’t, then maybe this is a sign your idea isn’t viable. Be careful to make sure this idea suits your business, if for example you want to sell food products you can’t advertise them online when you don’t have any. This method is very good for business ideas such as an online CV consultant.
Ask the professionals.
There will be bloggers and people who work in the industry, who if you contact may be willing to offer you some advice and feedback. If for instance you want to launch your fat and sugar free chocolate (if you have one I can tell you now that’s a great idea!) you will want to contact chocolate bloggers and people who work for chocolate companies. Don’t aim too high, such as the CEO of the biggest company in the industry, contact smaller local companies. Remember just because they are small it does not mean their advice is not as valuable.
If you use these five methods you will have truly tested your business idea. Hopefully it will get good results but if not, don’t despair just look at why and learn from it.
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