5 steps to test your new business idea

Fear. Anxiety. Distress. These three emotions savage wannabe entrepreneurs as they devour every success-story they can get their hands on, but they have yet to actually start a new business idea of their own. I like to think of it as “productive procrastination,” and tell myself with every new case study I’m learning and growing.

I guess this is true to an extent, but the reality is when I’m not making progress towards a goal like developing a website or signing up a new customer; I’m just wasting my time.

Have you ever experienced this?

Google can be the death of you. It’s fantastic when you need to research a particular point, but the abundance of information can quickly sidetrack and overload even the most dedicated individuals. Reddit isn’t much better. With so much discussion around what everyone else is doing, you can spend months dreaming about starting a business, without making any actual progress on your own.

Today, we’re going to cut through all that and test one of the new idea’s you’ve been sitting on.

This guide will take you through 5 easy steps to turn the thoughts in your head to a concept you can test. You’ll know in 48 hours if anyone else thinks your new business idea is a winner, so you don’t invest your hard-earned savings in web development all leading to a dud-idea.

Sound good? Good.

 

1. WHAT NEED DOES YOUR NEW BUSINESS SOLVE?

The key to selling anything is to find something your customers need, and provide it.

Whether it’s a joke site posting glitter to your enemies or live video streaming in your social media feeds, your product has to solve a need. Think about your target customer and the solution you’re offering.

If you’re really stuck, check out these 55 business ideas for a little inspiration. Now you need to take your solution and get feedback:

  • Run your business idea past 5 friends and get their thoughts
  • Make a post on reddit and ask random internet strangers their opinion
  • Check out how many people are searching for the solution you will provide
  • Research 5 potential competitors to see what they’re doing to meet this demand

 

2. GET A NAME FOR YOUR NEW BUSINESS

Based on your research so far, brainstorm a bunch of keywords which relate to your imagined product or business. Plug them into Dot-o-mator or LeanDomainSearch and pick three .com’s that you like the sound of. If you’re completely stuck try Naminum and generate a new random word for your business.

Make sure you can also grab the social handles for these accounts, and at a minimum setup a facebook page and a twitter account. If you want to read a little more on what makes a good business name, read thisthis and then this.

 

3. BUILD YOUR MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT (MVP)

The MVP concept was popularized by Eric Reis in the Lean Startup as a way to learn as much as possible about a new business idea, with the least possible effort. You read a ton more on the details here.

Tim Ferris famously used this concept to split test names for his book, and we’re going to use the same idea to build an email list of potential customers for your new business.

Take the three domain names you bought, and create three landing pages focusing each on a different aspect of the solution you’ll provide. You can use a do-it-yourself service like Lead Pages, or we can also develop these for you as we offer a ton of great landing page designs. We’re going to test which business your potential customers like the most.

 

4. TEST YOUR MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT

The fastest way to generate traffic to your landing pages is PPC advertising, using either Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.

If it’s your first time you can use bonus credits like these, just search for coupons and the platform you’re advertising on. You can set the campaigns up yourself, but if you need a little help our team can build you an advertising strategy, before you sit back and let the internet work its magic.

Keep your ads live for 24 to 48 hours, and while you’re waiting you could always experiment with more novel ways to test your ideas with potential customers.

 

5. ANALYZE THE RESULTS

After a day it’s time to check your advertising reach and sign-up results.

The conversion rate is what’s important, i.e. the ratio of how many people signed up compared to how many people viewed each landing page. Ideally, you want your conversion rate to be above 5%, but industry averages can sit anywhere between 2 to 4%.

Based on how many signups you received, there should already be a clear winner between the three different businesses, but if you’ve had 5,000 people come through to every landing page and only a handful of signups, you may want to re-think the core of your idea back in step one, and pivot from your original concept.

Once you’ve successfully tested your idea, you’re hopefully going to have a list of a couple of hundred people who are already hanging out for your products, services or business to get started. Now it’s time to start forming your solutions, working with a web designer and putting a strategy in place for your actual business.

That’s just how easy it can be, so don’t let fear, anxiety or distress hold you back from achieving your dreams.

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