^^ Agreed. If it's totally new that can't be tested directly, but you can analyze the problem it solves and who it affects. For instance, you sell a software service that has never been introduced before. It reduces the operating costs of oil rigs by 14% by doing x. Pitch the problem.
There's no such thing as a bad business, only bad salesmen.
I am the type of person that does a lot of research before making any kind of decisions on whether or not to try a new business idea / website. I like to look around and see what is successful in the field I am thinking about getting into and what isn't. I look around and check out other businesses and their websites to see what is good and bad as well as how I might be able to improve on them if they were mine.
I think with most businesses it's best to look before you leap and start something, especially something that is going to cost money. Research is your friend when it comes to business and websites!
If your business idea is local and the website is to support you local business idea (you can be very successful) and you can test locally and get instant results. If your idea is more global, you can test it on sites like Kick Starter, if it fits in their model. It really depends on the type of business, if you were a little more specific you'll get better answers.
The initial step would have to be analyzing your competition. Of course, you have to know first who are you up against so you can determine if your business plan is workable or not. Second is by assessing the product/service you have if this is suitable to current demands of the market. Third is to test out your business with certain individuals and see if it clicks or not...
Testing a business idea shouldn't be a big task.. There are a couple ways you can test a business idea, I'll list them out for you
1) Family and Friends - They are customers.. it just so happens you are related to them or got know them closely.
When asking, make it clear you're looking for the truth on whether they like it or not.
2) Mount Dream! (mountdream.com) - Just go to their website and it's pretty self explanatory.
3) Anywhere on the Web! - Just look for Forums, Facebooks groups, Quora, whatever! Don't be to worried about people stealing your idea because it's not so much the idea as it is the execution of the product. Great idea =/= Great product.
I would say Kickstarter, but Kickstarter is becoming more of a product launch tool than a testing tool. Just don't throw it up there and expect people to throw money at you. It just doesn't work like that.
There you have it, Steitieh!
Great places to start, but checkout "Mount Dream" I feel like that is a unique answer that not everyone knows
Adam, your post in fact is really useful
I never heard of mountdream.com, and it seems really good, thanks for sharing.
Besides, I agree that it's pretty necessary to analyze competition, if there is such.
I would mention that you need:
- Identify your competitors who succeed and, also, those who failed
- Find out their audience
- Learn about their promotional tools (or how they reach potential customers)
- Find out their weak points and figure out on how can you benefit in it
Depending on the project, for these purposes you can use such things as:
1) Forums for webmasters (not sure that I can share links of them here, but there is a plenty of them, and I bet you already know them)
2) Backlink analysis shows where your competitors get their online traffic from. There are paid tools (SEMrush, Ahrefs), however they have 14-30 days trial, so you can use it for free.
3) Read reviews on your competitors everywhere it can be found. You can find it on Yelp, Google Business or specific niche websites (f.e., for tourism it would be Booking.com or TripAdvisor)
4) Calculate risks and profits accurately
If there is no competition, then it should be analyzed even deeper.
Find out, why there's nobody who did it before. Most of the times, it may be considered like "I'm just smart enough to have a million $ idea that nobody even thought about", but that is an illusion in most cases. And here Quora may be useful to ask.
I didn't test my idea. As a matter of fact I want to try my luck by starting online business. This is therefore, I am looking for something that is entirely free. Reason being is, even if it doesn't work fine then at least I will have no regrets.
Try telling it to the people but indirectly if you want assessing your idea in actual. For example, if you are planning a gift shop online, ask your friends if they will buy from such shop with the given benefits. If they looks interested, go for it. You can also check how many people are implementing the idea. Check their site's ranking etc to estimate how successful they are.
I do a little research in what is happening and what is trending in the niche that I want to work in then, if it fits, I do some KW research and some competition analysis. If everything seems good at a first glance I go deeper in research and try to estimate how much money will be needed for the project to succeed, if I have that money I go for it, if not I'll keep it somewhere for future use.
What is KW research?
I think I will try my own online business of shoes. Whereas, I am not sure if my friends will buy from it or not. This is all about luck. That's why I would like to have my store for free.
That's fine though however, I would tell you that after getting into so many discussions and forums related to free, I finally got one.
Now your question regarding hobby is, so let me tell you that even one of my friend is making successful sales even using simple Google forms.
I know it sounds weird and people often say that nothing comes for free. However, there are somethings that needs to be discovered and I am hopeful that soon I will come up with something.
Roind I got my site on a free eCommerce website and it worked fine for me. Even I got mobile application within a day. I would like to share it with you guys here so you guys can give me perfect idea that how it looks. Do you mind giving look?
If you have a business idea and want to test whether it will work or not then start asking people of some business community, trusted colleagues or advisors by getting an honest feedback. You can also use social media platform like facebook, twitter etc. by running some quick test ads which will definitely provide you some genuine feedback on your business idea.
When i had a business idea, i tested it by really putting up and launching the business. But i started it small, not fancy, just enough for the business to run. Then as business runs, i was able to see the results of my business idea and made the necessary changes and improvements for the business to run better and smoother and cater it's customers better. So for me, to really test a business idea, you really have to launch it and see the results. But always start small and build your way up from there so wouldn't go bankrupt when things didn't really go your way.