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Already have online business ideas?
Do you want to start a successful online business?
There is one thing that you have to do now.
Once you have decided to start an online business, it is very recommended to test if there's a demand for it. Otherwise, you might get very disappointed after launching your internet business and receiving no response to it.
First of all, it's best to do at least a brief market research. It will help you to develop a general view of your market and highlight main competitors and possible partners and collaborators. You can learn more about how to do market research for online business here.
There are several methods that can help you to test your market. Which one is best to choose, depends on specifics of your online business ideas.
Shall we start now?
The easiest way to see if anyone would be interested in your new online business ideas, is to ask your friends for feedback. To get even more accurate feedback, you should look at friends who are interested in similar things. You can do that on Facebook by searching "friends who like X". That way you will find friends who are in your target market. Keep in mind that people might give you possitive feedback just not to insult you because you are their friend.
Another very easy and cheap way is also to ask others but this time unknown people. Go to Starbucks or any other coffee shop, find a few people and offer to buy them coffee if they will give some honest feedback on your friend's online business ideas. It's important to mention that it's your friend's idea to start a business because that way people won't be affraid to offend you and will give you their honest opinion. Make sure to ask at least 5 people. Communicating is good in general...
The more advanced and accurate way of testing your online business ideas is to set up a landing page. You can either ask people to enter their email address and at the same time you would start building your list and test conversion rates or simply have a trackable button with text like "add to cart" or "buy now" and see how many people actually gets interested enough to click the button. The landing page can be very simple because at this stage we only need fast data. You should also invest into PPC or social media advertising to drive some traffic to your website. Leadpages is amazing landing page software that you can use for easily and quickly creating great looking pages.
MVP (minimum viable product) is "the simplest form of your idea that you can actually sell as product," said Eric Ries, the author of "The Lean Startup". It's great to have a version of the product to test and market early in the development stages so that any tweaks or changes are in response to real feedback from your target audience. You will get the actual sales data which is many times more accurate than just collecting emails. Also you will start generating income as soon as possible that will cover part of development and marketing cost.
This method is an amazing opportunity to test your online business ideas and pre-sell your product. It works best with actual (digital or tangible) products and in some cases services. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter became very popular these years. Not only you it gives you platform to collect the money upfront but it will might give you some exposure. This is the most advanced way to test your idea and it requires to develop a product to some level, write more detailed descriptions and create an introductional video. You can create amazing animated intro videos for your crowdfunding campaigns with GoAnimate.
So these are a few ways to test your online business ideas before actually launching it. Some of them are more simple and doesn't cost anything, some of them are more complex but provides many times more accurate results. You can try a few of them to define a more overall view.