The Business Idea Testing Series – Part One
Today is the first installment in our Business Idea Testing Series with Start-up Business Coach Katie Wyatt, of The Wellness Entrepreneur . Over the next three days, Katie will share some generous tips on how and why you should test your brilliant business idea and what you need to ask yourself before you start.
TEST YOUR CRAZY-AWESOME BUSINESS IDEA BEFORE YOU LAUNCH IT
Have you got a business idea you think is so good it makes your tummy do a happy dance?
Tell me the truth. Are you already planning your 99 Designs logo competition because you just have to see how pretty that business name will look once a graphic designer has a go at it? I don’t want to be the party pooper, but before you go printing marketing materials or hanging out your shingle (whether it be a virtual one or not), take a moment to think about testing the idea first.
Ready. Fire. Aim
Right now you love your idea. That’s awesome — snaps to you, smart person! But, you may already have 100% of the global market cornered. A market of one. Cue the buh-barm. You need to know if anyone out there is interested —so interested they want to give you money (ka-ching).
Launching is expensive, testing is inexpensive and even free
Even the most simple businesses cost money to start, from website design and build, logo design, marketing materials and email hosting. Not to mention the time cost. If you have an idea and you’re part of the Daily Guru tribe, chances are you’re an ideas gal (or guy) and you can’t have a shower without getting a new one. Am I right? Hello soul sister, we meet again.
Do the life maths. If you chase after one idea, the rest will be hanging around tapping their foot and waiting for a little moment of self-doubt to yell, “I told you so! You should have picked me!” So, to avoid the voices in your head and the associated therapy bills, please make sure you’re chasing the idea that you have the most confidence in because you tested it first.
Testing is not just about your idea, it’s about you too.
Yep, that’s right. Ideas are sexy. Execution is the slightly ugly sibling us ideas people like to ignore. They’re related, but execution just isn’t as much fun to hang out with — they’re hard work sometimes. Part of testing the idea is uncovering lots of insight into the customers you will be selling to and dealing with. It’s also about getting to know rather intimately the processes of how you will deliver your product or service, and starting to peel back the layers of this idea to see what real life execution might look and feel like.
You might find that it’s not for you. Perhaps you love the idea of selling essential oils at farmers markets, but then you realise you don’t love the idea of getting up at sparrow’s every weekend to haul your oils all over the city. Time and money saved — now onto the next noisy idea baby in your head.
Testing can also be your first marketing strategy
Yes, that’s right. You can be selling while you’re testing! This is particularly true if your business idea relates to a service, such as coaching or consulting or hairless-dog walking. If your testing includes talking to potential customers (and it should), you might also be developing a business opportunity through that conversation. If they love the idea, you might have found your first customer!
This concept of selling and testing has never been truer than now in this digital age and economy. You can put ‘products’ online that aren’t developed yet to find out if people are interested and if they are, you gather their email, develop the product and voila — as per your order, dear customer!
Recently on my podcast, The Wellness Entrepreneur, I interviewed Marcus Pearce, who is the founder of an online personal development and coaching program called The Exceptional Life Blueprint.(www.exceptionallifeblueprint.com) He released the marketing videos and sold it before he’d finished developing the program. Plenty of other online business influencers now recommend the same thing. Nothing gives you clarity about what your dream customer wants more than her entering in credit card numbers because she has bought in to your concept! Mental note: don’t take this approach if you’re not good with pressure and deadlines — it will send you mad. ‘Nuff said.
Finally, you need to know when to stop the testing process and get on with the business (or not). You can get very wrapped up in data and never move forward. That’s not helpful either. So be clear about what evidence you’re after and once you get it, make a decision and move forward.
Over to you, fellow idea hunters. Are you nursing an idea baby and ready to give birth? Will you test? Did you test? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading
I’m building an empire, I’m on the journey. I’m sharing the journey and digging into the empire building stories of those who have made a business out of their personal brand. We talk to entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, authors, coaches and technical experts to help you, inspire you and guide you on your business building journey