How can you guarantee the success of your new business idea or young startup?
Launching a new venture is exciting and even exhilarating. It???s also one of the scariest things most people will ever do and for many one of the biggest gambles they???ll take in their entire lives. So how can entrepreneurs slash the risk, build pragmatic confidence and hit the ground running (or already in the green)?
What Absolutely Won???t Guarantee Your Startup Success
3 things that will NOT secure the success of your business idea???
- Millions in venture capital won???t make the difference
- Waiting until you have more time, or it???s perfect, or ??(fill in your own blank excuse)
- Planning it to death instead of getting started
Of course you also know that as passionate as you are about your vision, and as much as you just want to kick everything else to the curb, get out there and floor it like you are behind the wheel of the new Ford Mustang or slam it in the net like Lebron James, and are ready to storm out of the gates like a Call of Duty Ghost shooting blind and banking on hope alone probably isn???t the best way to make sure you don???t fail. So how can you enjoy the best of both worlds, and move forward with momentum that will last versus winding up stuck and stumbling around like the walking dead desperate for a sale?
The Test, Test
There is a need to stop procrastinating and just get that business plan done, even if it is just a rough guide for now. There may be skills that need to be built and knowledge gained, but odds are that can be achieved?? en-route. Perhaps there is a need to shake off unjustified doubt, but this may only come with taking steps forward and claiming minute victories.
Maybe there is even some ???common sense??? in holding back to a certain extent in order to preserve greater value later. Yet, if you never get off the starting line there won???t be a later; at least not for you, with this idea.
So you want to know if your business idea will really work?
A report by StartupNation and Yahoo Small Business Advisor suggests the best way to determine viability and to ???ensure the success of your next business idea??? is to run it through the ???Google Adwords Test???: This is a strategy test promoted even earlier by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated).
The concept calls for entrepreneurs to begin with a simple website or even just a web page and direct pay-per-click ads to it to test assumptions. This can be done on a virtually non-existent budget, even by those still working shifts at McDonalds to keep the lights on until they make it. It works by testing the real interest for your product or service, and then by whether people will actually pay real money for it or not.
If this is too technical yet, or leaping too far ahead, then there are even easier, cheaper and more basic ways to get the ball moving and test the waters.
5 Dirt Cheap, Ridiculously Easy Ways to Ensure the Success of Your New Business
- Blog about it and see what traffic and comments are generated
- Talk to influencers and see if they???ll get on board to help promote you from day 1
- Get started on Facebook and see how many people you can rally around an idea before you even develop the tangible product or service
- Crowdsource the product and get others emotionally involved in creating it
- Line up pre-orders, reservations and pre-sales
#5 is where so many entrepreneurs get off on completely the wrong foot and really often doom themselves by starting with the wrong mindset.
In 99% of cases entrepreneurs are constantly saying it will be easier ???when I have a website???, ???when I have 1,000 Facebook likes???, ???when I get another $10k??? or ???once I get a tangible product out there to show off???.
Ironically this is rarely true in real life. It???s often far easier to sell an idea and a vision than it is the actual product. Builders do it every day with multi-million dollar condos based on pretty pictures, stock brokers do it on a dream that often really has terrible odds of panning out, and politicians do it every year, often despite proving they are not equipped for the job or won???t do what they are promising. This doesn???t mean that you should ever consider anything but an extreme adherence to the highest business ethics. The point is, just like raising a baby; it???s never easier later; it???s just different, with a different set of challenges and joys.
The Real Deal Bottom Line
You can do all the focus groups and testing and even if your results are spectacular it may not carry over without some serious tweaking. Others will see their tests and pokes completely flop, yet may need to press on any why. Sometimes you have to forge new territory before the crowd is ready for it.
However, without a doubt no one should rush in, or sit on the sidelines day dreaming while their lives pass them by without testing their business ideas.
Start with a simple DIY web page and two boxes. 1 for names, and one for email addresses. Or even just use your Facebook page. Test it. Refine it. Run with it.
You have everything to gain; even if it is just the joy of the journey and satisfaction of knowing you went for your dreams. Plus; if you???ve tested and tweaked first the odds are on your side.