The Secret to Success You’ve Never HeardJan 16, 2023
Did you know you can almost guarantee the success of your business with one strategy, that most of us never do?
Success is not luck and starting a business doesn’t have to be a gamble.
With this one exercise you can make sure you have the formula for success, a product or service that will sell, and exactly the right message for your target market.
If you haven’t launched your business yet, then this is the perfect timing for you so you can do this before you get started and make your business a guaranteed success. But no matter what stage of business is at this same strategy can be used to test new ideas or get information to help you improve your current products and services – so the bottom line is that this is for everyone!
If you believe everything you read, you’d think that the most successful entrepreneurs of our time made it because they had a once in a lifetime idea. A stroke of genius, that no one else had thought of, that turned into a multimillion-dollar business.
But if you look closer, you’ll see that’s not the case. Most of them had an idea that they tested and tweaked and pivoted on, until they created a successful business that is often unrecognizable from that initial idea. And their businesses continue to evolve and change even now, as they grow and improve.
Look at Mark Zuckerberg’s original idea. To start a platform for university students to connect. It was a testing ground for Facebook, where he got to try new tech, roll out features and start evolving his idea into what we know today.
Look at Oprah Winfrey’s empire and Richard Branson, they started with a spark of an idea, tested it, adapted it, grew it and evolved. None of their businesses now, look anything like those original game plans.
I think each one of us has million-dollar ideas regularly. As Seth Godin says, “There's no shortage of remarkable ideas, what's missing is the will to execute them.”
I would take that one step further than that. It takes the will to test and adapt those remarkable ideas. And this is the game changing strategy that most of us didn’t realize we could do before we started.
So how do you test and validate your idea?
One of the best ways to test an idea, is to create a minimum viable product.
Simply put that means the smallest thing you can put out to your market to test whether they actually want it.
It's a great opportunity to make sure there is demand before sinking a lot of time and money into your idea.
If your idea turns out to be solid, it will also give you real world feedback, and ideas on how to enter the market with a stronger product or service, better suited to your market’s needs.
So how do you come up with a minimum viable product to test?
Start with Market Research
The first step to creating your minimum viable product is gathering information. Conduct surveys, ask around and analyze your competition, because the more information you have, the more likely you are to succeed.
Once you’ve done some research on your market and competitors, you need to create your minimum viable product to test.
For physical products, one really easy way to do this is with pre-selling. All you need to invest in here is the prototype, and some high-quality marketing materials, like photos, and video.
The bonus to this method, is that you also get the funding from the pre-sale up front, to help you pay to develop and produce the actual products.
If you have a large audience already, you can launch the pre-sale to your audience on your website or social media.
If you don't have an audience, you can tap into existing audiences like Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding sites like ifund Women and IndieGoGo.
Landing pages are another great strategy to test your product. Sending your test market to a landing page that shows and explains your product or service, gives you the opportunity to test your pricing structure to see what they choose, and if they are interested in buying the product or service.
If you are a writer and you want to test your idea for a book, you can create a series of blog posts to test your material, and market fit, before spending months writing the full book.
Perhaps you have an online course idea. Start with selling some live webinars. It will save you the costs and months of preparation, and if you follow them up with Q&A session, it will help you develop your material for the actual course launch, so you hit the target right out of the gate.
Take a small selection of your products or services and offer them in a temporary location or basis.
Take the physical product you want to produce and strip it right down.
Another great way to test both products and services is to conduct customer interviews. It's very simple, and so often overlooked.
So many businesses fail because they skip this step, and either there was no need for the product in the market, or they missed the opportunity to improve it before they took it to market, by soliciting feedback.
You think it's a great idea, obviously, or you wouldn't be creating it. But you need to make sure YOUR MARKET likes it as much as you do, and if they don't, why not?
Without testing you are guessing, and you don’t want to risk your businesses future on guesswork. Plus, some of the best ideas come from your customers, why waste the opportunity to make your product or service even better, before you launch it?
So your one step for this week in our One Step Empire series is to decide what you can do to test your idea and get it in front of your actual customers so you can get their feedback and gauge their interest.
Can you do a landing page, or put a product or idea on Kickstarter? Can you do a video series? What is the best and fastest way to get it out there and see if your market really wants it and how it can be improved to make it better?
You think it’s a great idea. Your aunt and your best friend think you are a genius of course. But you need to find out what the people you are expecting to pay for it really think. All feedback is good feedback – even when it stings a little. You have a chance to almost guarantee your success so do it!