Before you waste your time and money on a new business idea, do these steps first


Validate your business idea. To “Validate” your business idea simply means to test it. There are several ways you can validate your business idea prior to investing time and a lot of money. You can also use the Validation Method for existing businesses for those of you who want to add a product or service to your business. Here is a step by step guide on how to validate your business idea.

If you’re like a lot of people who want to start a business but can’t figure out what type of business to start, validating your business idea first, prior to launching a business, is the best way to go. For those of you who want to start a business however you’re working a full-time job, with limited time and money, validating your business idea is a great way to test your business idea before stepping out into the entrepreneurship role full time. When you’re unsure if your business idea will work-validate your business idea first.

Brain storm

First, write down your ideas on paper. Out of the list of ideas, choose 2-3 business ideas that you want to test.

THE IDEA

If you’re unsure of what type of business to start, here is a list of 80 different Business Ideas to choose from:

  1. Graphic Design

  2. Web Design

  3. Web Development

  4. Tax Preparation

  5. Outside Sales

  6. Online Course

  7. E Books

  8. Instagram Marketing

  9. Facebook Marketing

  10. Online Coaching

  11. Podcast

  12. Sell items on Amazon

  13. Online Consignment Store

  14. Online Boutique

  15. T-Shirt Business

  16. Property Management

  17. Loan Processor

  18. Transaction Coordinator

  19. Consultant

  20. Phone Repair Technician

  21. Virtual Assistant

  22. Concierge Service

  23. Personal Shopper

  24. Makeup Artist

  25. Event Planner

  26. Wedding Planner

  27. Photographer

  28. Blogger

  29. Remote Teacher/Tutor

  30. SAT Tutor

  31. Social Media Manager

  32. Presentation Design Consultant (good for startup companies who need someone to create presentations)

  33. Travel Consultant

  34. Travel Agent

  35. Interior Designer

  36. Chef

  37. House Sitter

  38. Jewelry Maker

  39. Baked Goods

  40. Home based Chef

  41. Healthy Meal Prep Chef (seek out nutritionists and personal trainers to offer your services)

  42. Fiverr

  43. Online Dating Consultant

  44. Greeting Cards

  45. Life Coach

  46. Buy and Sell Domains

  47. 203K Inspector

  48. Loan Officer

  49. Real Estate Agent

  50. Pet Grooming

  51. Dog Walker

  52. Pet Couture Designer (collars, clothes, travel bag)

  53. Dog Day Care

  54. Dog Hotel

  55. Dog walker

  56. Copywriting for websites

  57. Air BNB Host

  58. Personal Fitness Trainer

  59. Yoga Instructor

  60. Tour Guide

  61. Freelance Writer

  62. Accounting and Book Keeping

  63. Personal Assistant

  64. Day Care

  65. Workforce Training Consultant

  66. Home Appraiser

  67. Mobile Laundry

  68. Mobile Dry Cleaning

  69. Notary Public

  70. Ghost Writer

  71. Marketing Consultant

  72. Business Coach

  73. Small Business Consultant

  74. Researcher

  75. Social Media Strategist

  76. Content Creator

  77. Motivational Speaker

  78. Painter

  79. Landscaper

  80. Housekeeper

  81. Telemarketer

Still undecided on what type of business to start? Ask yourself the following questions:

What are your hobbies?

What do you enjoy doing?

If you could spend 8 hours a day earning the salary you want doing what you love what would it be?

Choose the one thing or 3 things that you want to be remembered by?

Once you’ve chosen 2-3 ideas to work on now it’s time to get down to business!

Target Audience

Who is your target audience? Is it single mothers looking for affordable day care? Young men ages 18-24, who consider themselves “hip hop heads”? Women with disposable income who don’t mind splurging on a $400.00 a designer purse?

Problem

The idea of launching a business is to solve your customers problems. Questions to ask yourself when identifying your customer’s pain points:

What do your customers want?

Are your customers looking to generate more income?

Does your customer need help with financial planning?

Are your customers looking for relationship advice?

Benefit of your business idea

What is the true benefit of your business idea?

Fast

Cheap

Reliable

High Quality

Motivated

Inspired

Test your offering Exercise

Create “mock” offers. “Our new Bermuda collection just launched today! Shop our store this weekend and receive 20% off”. “Mock offers” add value while providing solutions for your customers problems. They’re receiving something of value in exchange for their purchase, a great piece of clothing from your store with added savings. This exercise will help you with your sales pitch as well as your offering for marketing campaigns.

Assess your skills

Always remember this, you don’t need to attend a school to become an entrepreneur. You can very well work with what you have, in terms of skills, resources, talent, knowledge and experience. Assess your skills to determine what you have that will work in your favor as a business owner.

Resources

What resources do you currently have to get started with your business? What resources do you need to get started?

What tasks can you outsource? Delegating tasks will help you to remain productive which will allow you to focus on what matters the most in your business.

Research

Research if anyone has started the same business as you or if the business concept exists. Even if the business idea already exists, don’t let that discourage you! Find out if there are ways that you can “tweak” the business or enhance it. Nike, Adidas and Puma are all shoe companies however, they each have a unique offering. Most people have at least one item from each company, a pair sneakers from Nike, A back pack from Puma or a sweat shirt from Adidas. Each company has something that everyone likes which is why they have no problem competing in the same market.

Target audience

Instead of purchasing a website and investing thousands of dollars in marketing your products or service, send out an introduction email of your products and services to your network including family and friends. You’re accomplishing two things, testing your business idea and you’re getting valuable feedback to decide if you should pursue the idea. You may even get a customer out of it!

Ask your network to forward your email to any interested parties. The feedback may give you an idea on if you should pursue the business or not. Note: Having family and friends provide feedback can get a little “tricky”. They may not provide you with the valuable, honest feedback you need. The benefit of reaching out to complete strangers is you get an idea of who your target audience is and how they truly feel about your offering.

Set a 30-day plan to launch your idea

30 days is enough time to narrow down your top 2-3 ideas, research your ideas, create an offering and start building your email list.

Landing Page

You can start a business without having a website. Instead of taking the time out to build a website yourself or paying for a web developer to create one for you, opt for Landing pages. Landing Pages give you more flexibility than with websites. You can test out different offerings of your products on your Landing Page or use the Landing Page to build your email list.

Most website service providers have low affordable and sometimes “free” landing pages for businesses. You can track the analytics of the number of people who visit your landing page and even have a link with a “sign up to find out when we’ll officially launch” feature. This will help you build your email list as well as build up the “hype” about your product or service. What’s an email list? An email list is a customer base that you can market to on a consistent basis which is why it’s important to have customers sign up on a subscriber list. A landing page is also a great tool to use for pre-launches or pre-orders.

List of Landing Page Service Providers

Instapage

Lead Pages

Landing Page Monkey

Kickoff labs

Early Feedback group

Create a “Feedback Group”. A “Feedback Group” provides you with information regarding your products or services. They’re either in your network or on your mailing list. Your feedback group should consist of your target audience as well. For example, create a Facebook group to gain feedback. Either join existing Facebook groups where your target audience is or create your own.

Join online communities and forums

An online community or forum will give you the opportunity to engage and build relationships with your target audience. Rather than coming across as being “spammy” by posting your products and services, it’s best to introduce yourself, before your brand. Add valuable insight to the conversations in the forum. Then ask the following:

“Hey everyone, I’m thinking about starting a_____” continue with “Where do you think I should get started first”? Once people respond, invite the most actively engaged participants to sign up to your Feedback group. “Hello__ thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it! I’m definitely going to take your advice. Hey, would like to stay updated on the project?”

The object is to get the audience to talk about their “pain points”. Use that feedback to create a differentiating product or service.

Expand your reach

To expand your reach, sign up for social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter. Include your social media contact information on your landing page, as well as plug ins to have people easily join your feedback group. Social media is another way to get feedback from more than one platform.

Build a list

Create a spreadsheet of those who request to stay updated on your projects or your subscribers. When you’ve reached your target number, you can then focus your efforts on those who are on your list. Add the feedback from your focus group onto your spreadsheet. You can also use the list to build a “pre-launch” list of those who are interested in your products.

Run Pay Per Click campaigns

“Pay Per Click” campaigns is the least cost-effective way to market your brand. Most ads cost a minimum of $0.50 up $100.00+. You can usually start and stop a campaign whenever you like, check the analytics and get instant feedback on how your campaigns are doing. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that don’t produce results, Pay Per Click Ads gives your instant performance analytics.

Google Ad words

With Google Ad words, you can reach your customers with text-based search ads, graphic display ads, You Tube video ads, or in-app mobile ads. Google Ad words gives you the option to reach potential customers locally or globally.

Facebook Ads

Why choose Facebook? Facebook has a total number of 1.79 Billion monthly active users. With Facebook Ads, you can select your audience by age, location, demographics and behaviors. You can run your ads on Facebook, Instagram and you can even choose to run ads on certain mobile devices. You can select your budget and chose how you long you want to run the ad.

What is your competitive advantage?

After you’ve compiled feedback from your focus group determine what your competitive advantage is. Based on the information provided, what can you offer your customers?

Customer Service

Industry Knowledge

Quality Products

Fast Shipping

Business Concept

The last step of the process is when you’ve hit your business goal. That’s when you know you’ve got a great business concept on your hands. For example, maybe you’ve reached your goal of:

Number of Subscribers

Preorders

Items sold

Validating your business idea first, will save you time and money on an idea that may not work. It’s also great for those who want to “test” the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, or for those of you who are working a 9-5 and you’re thinking about stepping into the entrepreneurship role. When your time and resources are limited, you want to ensure that you have a solid business idea before moving forward as an entrepreneur.

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The Corporate Concierge Group 

2020

San Francisco Bay Area

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