Top 7 Ways to Test New Business Concepts
Everyone has had an idea for a business at least once, but how do you know if yours will work? Here are the best ways to put your business concepts to the test.
If you have a business concept that you are itching to begin, you know that there is nothing more frightening than the possibility of failure. But, did you know that 80 percent of start-up businesses will fail within the first 18 months? That’s right, only 20 percent of new and blossoming business concepts will make it to see the end of year two.
So how can you make sure that your business concept is good enough to make you a part of the successful and rare 20 percent, to make sure you aren’t wasting your time and money on a dud? Luckily, there are various tricks and tools that can allow you to rest at ease.
Read on for 7 tools and tricks to test your business concept’s success!
7 Steps to Test Your Business Concepts
1. Write it Out
It is important to write out your concept, focusing on answering a few key questions. These hypotheses will help you to focus on anything that has been glossed over.
Some questions to consider include:
- Who is your customer? And don’t just say ‘everyone.’ That’s a sure-fire way for your business idea to fail. Instead, clearly define your target audience. Get as specific as possible. Don’t just say ‘women,’ but think about the age, occupation, pass-times, etc.
- What problems are you looking to solve? Every good business product/service solves a problem. Whether it is the problem of connecting to new college roommates before actually moving in (Facebook), or the slow speeds and different styles of writing (typewriter). Make sure you define what your customers will brag about using your product/service.
- How will you solve these problems? How exactly will your product or service improve the lives of your customer?
- What are some key features of your product/service? Every successful product has key features. These features help to ensure the problem, whatever was defined earlier, is solved. And, the more quantitative these features are, the better.
2. Research the Market
It may not sound very fun, but ensuring you perform the appropriate market research for your business is essential. You need to know the market, the consumers, and the competition in order to successfully execute business concepts.
Identify potential customers and be sure you speak to them about your idea. Talking to these potential customers will help you determine whether or not there is a real demand for the business concept.
You should also make sure you talk to any potential partners, investors, and entrepreneurs. They can help you get the business started or give you advice on starting a business.
3. Levels of Demand
After researching the market, you should determine just how much of a demand there is. Are you going to be targeting a specific niche with your business? Niches are great for start-ups. A niche contains many interested potential customers that you can advertise to.
Are you taking a current concept and selling it at a lower price? Depending on what it is, the price is a serious incentive for customers. So by offering a service or product to customers at a lower price, you are sure to convert some loyalties.
Remember, if there is no demand, there is no point in investing the money to start the business– it would be best to scrap it and start again.
4. Make Yourself Known
The next thing to do would be to establish yourself and your business on the internet. Do this by creating a variety of websites and testing them with an A/B testing tool.
These websites should be nearly the same, with one variation. But make sure you test everything. The process costs almost nothing and will help you learn how to best set up your business’s website.
With tools like Google Analytics Content Testing or websites like Unbounce, you are able to determine what preferences your customers have. These preferences can be used to your advantage, helping you to make the best website possible.
The benefits gained through this process can be astronomical. Even if the increases are small individually, added together, they could boost your business concept to a whole new level.
After making yourself, and your idea known to the internet, next is to campaign. Dummy marketing campaigns are a sure-fire way to ensure business concepts are truly great. The dummy marketing campaign helps the entrepreneur gauge the demand for the business concept being proposed, without forcing large investments.
The dummy marketing campaign is popular and effective, plus it is simple to implement and costs almost nothing. Just act like the campaign is completely real and you are promoting an idea readily available. To do this, you will need to create a landing page that can help promote your concept.
The landing page can be hosted anywhere you would like—on your own existing website, or on a new website dedicated to the business. No matter what, the page should include information on sales, features offered, and a ‘buy now’ or ‘learn more’ button.
Since the concept is still just that, a concept, you will need to let visitors know. Visitors clicking through the landing page site should be brought to another page that explains the business concept is not yet available.
But, you still want to keep their business. So, get them on an email list where you can notify them as soon as you are officially launched. Just ask them to fill out a short form with their name, email and any other pertinent information!
All of the information you gather through these dummy campaigns will provide you with insight into your idea and it’s success once officially launched.
6. Define Success
Another important step: define success. Success is different for everyone. Someone will find success to mean getting 1,000 loyal customers, while other will look for 1,000 sales.
No matter what you define as success, make sure you clearly define it. Going without a clearly defined definition of success is a great way to get lost in the excitement.
7. New Leads
Once you get your business up and running, there will be new leads coming your way every day. Make sure you use these leads, milk them for all they are worth. Reach out to influencers, potential customers, anyone and everyone you can to make your company amazing.
Ask your customers for feedback. Get visitors to review your site. The information gathered through these methods will help you enhance your business, allowing you to go further than you ever thought possible, reaching an audience previously unattainable!
Acting on business concepts is a big, difficult leap to take. But, if you do the research and ask the right questions, you will find yourself on the road to success.
Become a Success!
There you have it, 7 ways to make sure you and your business are on the path to success!
Did I mention any ideas you never thought of? Maybe you have a success story using other methods? Let me know if you have a question or another topic idea for me to dive into, just slip me a note!