Entrepreneurs, Test Before Starting Your Business

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Starting a business is fun and exciting. It’s also frustrating and sometimes even depressing. But being the entrepreneur you are, you are constantly thinking of new business ideas that you would love to do. The only problem is how you decide what business you start and how you are going to get funding.

Going to business school, you are taught to write up a business plan. I just want to say this is a bad idea. Sure, it will probably be required down the road for some annoying reason, but not right at the beginning. At this point, it’s a time waster.

All business plans that are drawn up at the beginning of a venture normally just talk about the ‘market potential’ of the business. This means nothing. Especially when you are trying to get some funding to get it off the ground.

Instead of spending your time writing up a business plan, run a PPC campaign. This will truly help prove (or disprove) the market potential you think there is.

There use to be a time where you had to look at market surveys and data available to you to determine whether or not you had a shot or not with that business idea. Turns out, that data is really expensive to come across and just not viable for you to acquire as a Dorm Room Biz person.

Luckily though, you can get that data all on your own. Take $500 or so of your own money and invest it into a PPC campaign. Here’s a short step-by-step way to implement this plan.

  1. Get a domain name. Any name related to whatever you are doing, not necessarily the one you will end up using. If you are going to start a cookie selling biz, get cookieseller101.com.
  2. Find some cheap hosting and install a CMS.
  3. Create a few landing pages. Up to 5 should be enough and ask questions on them. You are looking for answers from the people in the market you want to serve. You can even go ahead and offer your service now.
  4. Setup your campaign in Adwords and spend the allotted amount.
  5. Collect all the data and read through it. Pour over your keywords and clicks data from Adwords and even send messages to some of the people (your new ‘customers’) and try to get some more information from them.

Once you’re done, you should have some information. And if you didn’t get any, well, you might want to start rethinking that business idea right away.

Then you need to take that data and reflect over it. Find new perspectives that you think the business should take. If you think you need some more information, try running another campaign and see what you can gather from that.

This can really work. It’s how I helped start my Surety Bonds company with some friends.

And it’s also what saved me from wasting 9 months of my life and a lot of my money chasing the idea I had of starting a local textbook buying and selling website.

This is a guest post from Kevin Kaiser, a web entrepreneur and college student. You can connect with him on twitter, @kevinckaiser.

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4 Responses to Entrepreneurs, Test Before Starting Your Business

  1. Radu Prisacaru May 7, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Fantastic blog. Keep on rockin, Radu Prisacaru – UK Internet Marketer & Web Developer

  2. Martin June 20, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Excellent tips. You’ve just shared valuable information with small business owners.

  3. Patrice August 21, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Great tips for small sized entrepreneurs! True- one has to test first before starting a business.

  4. entrepreneur July 18, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    You’ve got great insights about entrepreneur, keep up the good work!

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