There are more than three ways to test your ideas but these three can be a great time saver as well as a good indication that there is a need your idea can meet profitably. (NOTE: Profit = money in your pocket)
In business the number one challenge with any idea is to get the idea to market and once to market, get information to enough people who then are willing to buy the product or service. Money is usually needed to do both so before you put your hand in your pocket or the pocket of investors do some simple testing and see if you have an idea that can earn $$$$s.
Remember: There are millions of GOOD Ideas
but only a few actually ever generate significant money
On Amazon, how many books are published about your idea? Rather than look for what your idea specifically, look for what people have written that solves a similar problem.
Let’s say we have an idea of to keep skin supple. We could then look on Amazon for books on skin care, appearing younger or even looking more beautiful. Skin care gives us 447,958 entries, appearing younger gives us 91 entries, and looking beautiful gives us 57,870 entries. From this we could say that a few others have identified a similar problem and come up with some workable solutions. But we have no idea how big the market is.
On Google or Bing do a similar search. Skin care gives us 165,000,000 items which says a few people look for skin care. We can confirm this number by going to Google keyword research and seeing what the competition is.
Now as you can see, lots of people deal with skin care but appearing younger and looking beautiful are not as popular or searched for quite so often.
If I enter supple skin, we see that the competition for the term is at a
2,400 people search for that monthly.
So what that tells me is that while there may be a need, the chances of making good dollars without investing a lot of time and money is small.
Redefine your need and how you would approach the market
Conduct some surveys. Survey monkey is a great free tool for surveys but for you the challenge will always be to get enough responders. It takes time and money to reach enough people to find out if anyone wants that glorious supple skin that your idea will produce.
So other surveys you can do include Facebook Questions. Questions on other social media sites. You could create some conversations around the idea with people on Google+ and in forums. But find out the language people are using and how they see this problem.
This is a key test because it actually engages your audience and helps you develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
WARNING: While you can ask family and friends, they will either pan the idea to prevent you losing out or out of jealousy or they will love your idea because they want to be supportive. Either way, their opinion is colored so treat the information carefully.
Unless you are prepared to test your idea, you could have loads of great product going off in your garage or basement.
I will never forget throwing out $500,000 of women’s vitamins because the company I worked with did not test their idea before they went to market.
ARROGANCE brings many a producer and marketer to their knees.
TEST and test again
To your success in taking ideas to $$$$s
There are so many tools on the market but finding the right tool and using is right can challenge most people.
- Help with keyword research
- Help create videos
- Help find domains both keywords for new ones and expired domains
- Find find keywords for articles, blogs, content, and so much more with keywords and analysis
- Site tools including SEO, market analysis and so much more
- Press tools
- Article spinner and submitter
- Lead tools
It’s a fabulous tool for my writing for creating content but only if it gets used. And used properly.
Its like accounting tools, Every package ever created has remarkable feature but they only work for you if use them and understand the basics of what accounting is all about.
There are tools out there to manage your contacts but many people just use their CRM to manage the names and addresses rather than the relationships and interactions.
There are tools out there that help you find answers. Wikipedia is a great tool BUT I really am glad that my doctor and dentist and lawyer use proper tools to research answers.
There are tools to predict weather, earthquakes, tornadoes and much more but unless they are used right, people can and do die.
The Right Tools for You
When you go into business, you need tools. And you need to learn how to use those tools. You need to learn when to use those tools.
But a tool is only good if you use it and learn to use it right. The Web Fire tool is an example of having power but not using it. When we got the tool, I decided that is would be one tool to leave to the rest of the team to learn but when we did some exploring on Ideas to $$$$s the power of this tool for me finding the right words for articles and blogs.
In the kitchen, I have drawers full of gadgets to do everything from grate garlic to slice avocados. In my office, I have gadgets galore.
And the sad thing, like Web Fire, I still only know how to use a small portion of those tools right.
Do you have any tools that you bought but are still learning how to use and use right?
In the comment box, share the last tool you bought for your business. Tell me – when are you going to learn to use them right?
Tools are great time savers but every tool takes time to learn when to use it, how to use it, where to use it and every tool takes a bit of practice to use it right. Will you take that time to learn to use the right tools right for you to succeed in business?
May most of your ideas earn you $$$$s
The biggest effect that the Web has on business is that it is almost impossible (without outside information) to tell a tiny one-man-
band from a multi-national conglomerate!
Think about it:
It takes only a few dollars to buy an URL for a business.
It takes a little bit of time to set up an account with an ISP to house your pages, and a few more hours to set up a web site.
With a little bit of effort (and a couple of apps) you can add a ‘shopping cart’, have a PayPal or Google account to handle credit card and virtual cash transactions, and you are up and running as a business.
Do some browsing and ‘surfing’ on the Web.
What is there on the pages you see that tells you the size of the business?
The chances are: NOTHING!
A one-person business can look as professional as one put out by a huge company. It can have as many products, and as many bells and whistles.
The fact is, business is all about transactions – you provide a product or service, and someone pays for that product or service.
In a bricks and mortar environment, the costs of having a store or an office or a slew of stores and offices are indicators of how large the business is. It is an indication of how wide the service is rather than how well the business is doing. The number of “branches” tells you that your are no longer dealing with a tiny one-man operation.
While the larger business may deliver more variety and the one man business may tailor better to specifics; it always comes down to transactions and the level of satisfaction for both parties.
On the Web, transactions are a critical part of the business, but a business with one transaction a week looks identical to one that has a million transactions a day.
That’s what the Web/Internet has accomplished: it makes every business equal in ways that could never have happened in a bricks and mortar environment. It has refocused business on the one thing that really matters: the individual transactions.
The transaction orientation is changing the emphasis of how we do business. It means that transaction costs can now be kept to a bare minimum. It means that buyers have the ability to look at the packaging and handling and buy exactly what they want rather than told and sold. Transactions allow for higher trust and relationship building. Transaction based business have no physical boundaries, no size limitations, no restraints.
Are you managing transactions or are you worried about SEO and web presence? In the comments, tell me what is preventing your one man business from looking like a big business?
Passionate Purposeful Performer
Transactions are a key part of the 10 Critical Criteria.
Have you looked at how your business matches those criteria yet? Find out more about the criteria today.
One of the assessment questions my students are asked for internal analysis of their strengths is to use a tool called
VRIO is a grid against which you judge your strengths and the strength of your business to find out your competitive advantage.
What does VRIO stand for:
V = Valuable to your business, current or ideally in the future.
R = Rare, are you the only business with this strength? If the strength could be bought or trained then is it rare? And if it is rare what is it about the strength that makes it rare.
I = imitable. This means could the strength be imitated or copied in some way.
O= Organization. Is this skill useful to the organization and how can it be used by the organization to give it an advantage?
The idea is that you write your strengths and then ask if the strength is valuable. If so it you tick it, (as above). Then look at the rareness of the strength. If is is truly rare then tick it. Then do the same with the other two characteristics. If you deem it to be common rather than rare, you stop comparing.
You are making the judgement on the valuableness, rarity, imitatability and usefulness to the organization. And whatever you think, as long as you can explain why, it helps your define the competitive advantage that you will embroider your brand with.
There are many strengths that are neither rare nor hard to imitate in the global world today but on a local level they may be both rare and difficult to imitate in the short term.
Unique selling point based on strengths comes from how you represent your strength. Your mindset, your belief and your attitude makes whatever you say true. Others will see your competitive advantage only because you tell them that this is your advantage. It becomes part of your brand.
Please keep in mind, just because you have a competitive advantage, your business success is still uncertain.
The challenge with any analysis is what happens next. What will you do with the information to create a different impression in the minds of others. And your clients want to know “So what”?
What will that strength mean to your buyers?
So look at your strengths but remember, your opinion need to be justified so that you can tell your prospects why they need to consider buying from you.
Have you looked at your strengths lately? Are they valuable, rare, imitable, and useful to the future of your business.
In the comments, please share what makes you unique and what your unique selling proposition is.
Passionate, Purposeful Performer
And unless you test and measure, do you actually know what is happening in your business?
Have you ever built anything, made anything, cooked anything?
If you have then you know that you start from the recipe or pattern. You measure, test and fit. You taste or use at the end and if it tastes terrible, fits badly or is uncomfortable, you tweak it.
Business is the same. You have your plan with all your action steps. Each step has a set of objectives attached and you then need to implement, measure and tweak depending on how you achieved against the projections.
Success in business comes from:
Testing new ideas.
Measuring the results.
Retesting more ideas
Remeasuring the results
Making new plans
Measuring the results
Success follows when you know what you are are doing because you know your intentions and your expectations.