An entrepreneur had developed a sunglasses holder for cars, manufactured several hundred products and secured placement in discount pharmacy stores as an impulse item near the checkouts. He got one sale in three months.
Your new idea for a product or service could turn into a nightmare if you fall in love with your fabulous dream idea and don’t test it beforehand in the marketplace. The most visible product failures are those involving physical product. Bedrooms, garages, studies and sheds can stay filled up with unsold product if you don’t do your homework. But the same applies to entrepreneurs who come up with smart phone apps – the only thing is you don’t get to see unused or unsold product. You won’t find a pile of unsold inventory for a new service because only the business owner will know how well his or her service is performing. Continue reading “Test before you invest – practical ways to test the market”
The other day I came across some business advice from a an enterprise organisation for a city that encourages new business start-ups. But the problem with this guide was that it assumed that you had already come up with the right business idea. There was no advice or tools on how to come up with or identify a right business.
Coming up with the right business idea proceeds a business plan. How can you start a business plan if you don’t have a business idea for a product or service that you’ve tested by doing basic market research or at least validating your idea in the marketplace? I found it a bit strange that the business adviser suggested that you should survey customers either through interviews or questionnaires (mail or email) before you’ve even had a chance to develop your business idea into a prototype or test service. The advice given was that you should start your market research by interviewing about 100 people if it’s a consumer business such as a restaurant or hairdressing salon but if it was a business product such as building materials you should talk to at least 20 builders. Continue reading “How do you find an idea for a business?”