February 5, 2016

Testing Your Business Idea

Business Idea TestHave you ever had a business idea that you thought would be a hit, but couldn't find the courage to run with that idea?

Maybe you're one of the many entrepreneurs that has created a very successful business that you loathe running.

Another common problem for us entrepreneurs is the "shiny object syndrome." You know, there are a dozen great projects you want to work on - so you try to do them all. Or, even worse, you try to focus on a different one each week just to see which one will workout.

If you're in any of these situations, there is a very easy solution to your problem.

Earlier this month, Pat Flynn launched his new book Will It Fly?, and I had the opportunity to participate in his launch team. While I've been running my own business for a few years now, I still learned a lot from this experience.

Part one, Mission Design

This section of the book guides you through the process of identifying your personal goals to ensure your business will offer a means to that end. Many entrepreneurs skip over this crucial step only to find they hate the work they're doing after spending years building their business.

If you want a business that will support your travel habit, that's a very different company from the one that requires you to take up roots in a community.

For example, I started my entrepreneurial endeavors in computer repairs. I would arrive at customer's homes and businesses, fix their computers, and setup their wireless network devices. While I made good money, this business required my physical presence at the customers home or business. When I moved to Europe and pursued a graduate degree, it was impossible to continue growing the business without access to my customers. Knowing what you want in the long-term will help you avoid building a business you don't want.

Part two, Development Lab

As you get your idea onto paper during this step, you'll begin to see what parts of the idea are most important and which can be left for future development.

Think about the iPod. Over the years, there have been several versions of this device. If the developers held out until they had everything they wanted included in a music player, they still would have no sales.

During this phase you will identify the important details about your idea that are essential to starting so you can test the market before wasting too much time developing something nobody wants, like a Zune.

Part three, Flight Planning

Speaking of the Zune, you should do some market research and identify how your product or service will stand out.

In my opinion, this is the most difficult section of Will It Fly. In this section, Pat explains how to dig through search results, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Amazon to understand the people, places, and products already in the market. All this information is used to identify problems and potential solutions you could offer.

There's More To Testing Your Business Idea

By now I'm sure I've got your attention. Those first three sections of the book get you focused on your business idea, product, or service. From there, you will test your idea and launch the product into the market. The next chapters cover these phases.

  • Part four, Flight Simulator
  • Part five, All Systems Go

In addition to the book, you also get access to a course that walks you through the material with additional links and videos. The book stands on its own, but the course adds more depth if you have internet access. This way you can read through the book any time, and watch the accompanying videos when you're at your computer and working through the exercises.

I received a free copy of the book for my participation in the launch team. However, I also bought five copies of the book to share with friends when it became available.Business Idea Required Reading

I strongly recommend picking up a copy and testing your own business ideas with Will It Fly?

Have a question? Just contact me.

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