3 Surprisingly Easy Steps to Validating Your Business Idea

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

January 30, 2013

product idea image

Will it Really Work?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate the totally stupid ideas and offers long before you wasted untold energy and money? As a business owner and online entrepreneur, you don’t have the time to waste or the cash to lose on ideas that really don’t stand a chance.

You know how the bad ideas take on a life of their own. You or key people in your business get all excited about some new idea you saw or thought of in and emotional high while attending an event, or reading about some great trend in the newspaper or watching an online video. They rush to tell everyone what a breakthrough it will be for the business and for their lives.

These types of folks ultimately spend hundreds or thousands of hours and thousands to tens of thousands of dollars trying to fool their product into success. They do everything including start a business around it, make business cards, get on all the social networks, and start endless advertising on a total waste product. They are unwittingly fooltrepreneurs.

How not to be a Fooltrepreneur

The internet world is full of good fortune for entrepreneurs because you can easily validate a product idea and barely spend fifty bucks. Some will tell you it can be done for free, but don’t believe them, they are usually using trial offers to get you to sign up for services.

So let’s see exactly what it takes to validate your product, save time and save thousands of wasted dollars…

Step 1 – The Squeeze

As with any launch online it all starts with your squeeze page. Create a squeeze page or landing page for your business idea as if your product really exists.

You can do this for free with any free html wysiwyg editor like Kompozer. There are a number of them to choose from and even free squeeze page makers (without the trial sign up).

Model examples from existing products in your market, but keep it simple. You don’t need fancy graphics. You just need compelling text.

Make several versions, and use Google’s analytics A/B split testing to test and validate your page. Test everything including the headlines, sub headlines, body copy, and sign up call to action.

Step 2 – Buy Some Quality Traffic

The most well known source of traffic is Google, though it is far from the only source. However, most of you can get your hands on a $100 Adwords certificate so you can get some paid traffic free. If you need a certificate, let me know below…

Analyze similar competitors by using the Google Adwords keyword tool. Enter the website of your competitor and see what keywords come up. Just type “google adwords keyword tool” in the Goolge search to find it, or log into your Adwords account you just created with your certificate.

Set up conversion goals, start your campaign, and do conversion tracking so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Step 3 – Winner or Loser?

Look at your results after a couple of days. You will either start getting lots of leads signed up, or hardly any at all, or even none.

If you get leads, follow up with them and ask them questions about their biggest frustrations related to the problems you hope to solve with your product. By doing so, you know what they really want, and know if your product actually delivers.

In the process of doing this small test, you discover what the traffic costs, what it costs to get a lead, what sales copy works, and how to talk to your customers. This will validate your existing product or let you know you need to do some real changes

Where to Next

These simple tests will provide you tons of useful and valid data. The guess work will be eliminated. The emotional drive of the glorious idea will be converted to hard facts of winner or loser. The numbers won’t lie, and you will know exactly what direction to move in.  You won’t be the fooltrepreneur.

Do it today. It takes very little time, and is very easy to test. You really have almost nothing to lose! Twenty-five to 50 bucks, a few hours time; how can you possibly not take action now?

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