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How To Start Your Next Business With Confidence


When most people start a new business they usually base it on a skill or something they are particularly good at.


They often believe that by providing a good quality product or service, this will be enough to ensure they make plenty of money and easy living will follow.


The honest truth is, most people are gambling when they start their new venture, because they haven’t done the due diligence to make an more informed decision.


Remove the guesswork and give your business a greater chance of success by applying a few simple tests to identify if and how many people actually want what you have to offer.



An Italian cafè recently opened nearby, serving the best espresso and Italian pastries currently available in the city.


The Italian community flocked and all approved that the food and coffee are both authentic and tasty.


The owners have spent (an estimated) €100.000 on renovation and machinery, not to mention staff costs, social security and rent.


This is OK when everything runs perfectly because you know the money will return but as soon as something goes wrong, and it always does, a business like this can suddenly find itself in dire straits.


While business started well, after one month people began to complain about the slow service, lack of savoury options and no local products.


Hoping that people will love your business enough to constantly return week after week is unrealistic and extremely risky.


Why set yourself up to fail?



Smart Testing


A safer and smarter way to launch a business successfully is do what the pros do (on a smaller scale) in the form of market research.


Sounds dull but as a solopreneur, we can make it a lot more fun.

(I mentioned testing ideas in this article, “Choosing The Right Side-Business Idea


Before launching any course, program or digital product, I always perform 1 or all of the following strategies to understand if and what my audience actually wants.


I will not invest my valuable time building something without someone to serve.


Here are 3 0-risk ways to remove the guess work by testing demand:


Create a landing page


The concept is super simple; share your solutions to your customers problems, explaining how it works and why they should choose you. End with a very clear call to action inviting the user to leave their email in exchange for an update, resource or other point of value.


Use a simple landing page usually offered by your email provider which will provide you tips and the analytics tools you need to make decisions.


You can also pay for more specific lead generation software but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re starting out.


Create a waiting list


Similar to the landing page, a waiting list gives stronger indication that this product or service is coming and anyone signed up will receive first-hand knowledge or updates before anyone else.


A waiting-list is a great opportunity to start more personalised conversations with those interested as they are intentionally waiting.


Connect with them and ask either personally (my favourite) or via a quiz, their preferences, pain points, ideal solutions and price points.


This can be a game changer for your potential business.


Offer an experience


One of my personal favourites, allow people to experience how you or your business will help them by providing a first-hand solution.

This is often done via a workshop, webinar or even digitally via a recorded video, guide or book.


If you service depends on you, it would be best to give the experience personally, otherwise, a digital resource can suffice.



Collecting Results


So you run one or more of these tests, how do you measure whether you were ‘successful’ ?


You may have people already asking you how they can continue or purchase your solution.


You may have people asking for another test experience or resource.

Do not be distracted by the short-term win!


This is a trap.


Depending on your offer, you generally want to judge demand by having a minimum of 30 participants interested in any of your tests.

Anything less indicates a weak market demand and may prove difficult to grow.


If however you do have a handful of people immediately ready to pay for your service, again, depending on the business, this could be a green-light indicator to move forward.


Aim for 30 participants and remember to focus on gauging interest at this stage, not making sales.



The Ultimate Guarantee


If you truly want to be confident in succeeding before you start a new project, build it with and around the ideal client (ICP).


Best way to do this? Start a group and turn it into a community.


  1. Invite a number of your ICP to a series of topic-based meetups.

  2. Allow them to decide the agenda and what they'd like to gain.

  3. Facilitate and share your project with the group.

  4. Invite contribution and as you develop your idea, invite them to test and improve.

  5. Before launch, give them early access and other benefits.

  6. Ask for testimonials and offer referal bonuses.

  7. Start taking pre-orders

  8. Launch


This way, you are launching with money already in your pocket, before you're even at market, unlike our Italian café friends who start with 100K in expenses.


The caveat with this solution is it takes more time and may be more appropriate to larger or more long-term business projects.

Equally so, time is never wasted when you invest it in people.


(If you want me to write more in-depth about building community, tell me.

I have built offline and online communities of over 18,000 people.)




Action


Now it's over to you. Turn the information into transformation.


Pro tip: Apply the tests across multiple ideas before launching anything to provide even better decision-making insight before you invest you irreplaceable time and energy.


Let me know which test proves most useful for you.



Wishing you the absolute very best,

Stefano



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