Yeah, I said it.
Everyone seems to have at least one million dollar idea and some people seem to have a new one every other week. As a software developer, I simply can't count the number of people who approach me with their million dollar idea that is going to make the both of us tremendously wealthy. Of these people, many don't want to invest their own capital and want you to sign an NDA. Really?
First of all, there are over 7 billion people in the world. Odds would suggest that your million dollar idea is not original. So unless you have some revolutionary scientific breakthrough you probably don't need an NDA. In fact, the opposite is true. If you are truely going to act on this idea you should be telling everyone who will listen. You should also be asking everyone who has experience in this field for advice.
Most million dollar ideas are just that ideas. The majority of people who believe they have a great new business idea never take any action to create that business. Or even worse yet, when someone decides to jump in feet first without thinking it through and loses their shirt in the process.
Am I discouraging people from following their passions? Absolutely not! What I would like to say is "Why not test the water first?". If you are a cereal entrepreneur this is probably old news but if this is your first venture you will find this useful. One of the best ways to gauge an idea is to test for its demand. Serial entrepreneurs have been using this tactic for years. ADVERTISE before you build. It is extremely common in development.
Ok, so you have this idea that you know is going to be awesome. This is what you should do next. Before you start writing any code before you purchase any supplies before you spend any time or money on this idea. Find out what sort of demand there is for this product or service. Create a simple website that has two purposes.
- Tells potential consumers about your new business and explains why they should purchase this product or service from you.
- Collect data. Measure how many people are visiting this site.
Now of these people who visit how many were willing to convert. Provide an email capture to allow you to contact these people once your product or service is available.
Now spend the rest of your time and energy promoting this website. Social media, forums, word of mouth, and whatever other medium you can to spread your message. This is where you should spend the most energy. Now once you have promoted and have enough data points you then need to start measuring interest. Using analytics such as Google's Analytics you can see how many people have been to your website. Now take the number of visitors who signed up for your email list and divide it by the total visitors to your site. Now multiply that number by 100. Of course, that will give you a percentage of visitors who are ready to commit or are close to a commitment.
Now you have something to work with. Here is the moment of truth. Did your site receive the number of visits you anticipated? Of your visitors what was the conversion rate? Even more important than the conversion rate is this number enough to sustain my new business? If the answer is heck yeah!! Then go ahead and take the plunge. If not, don't feel like you failed. Understand that you probably saved your bank account a lot of money. Now rinse and repeat.
Why is Buildicus writing this article? We have an amazing platform that is ideal for the serial entrepreneur. We offer simple, well-designed sites that are lead capture and analytics ready. Not only that it only costs $6.99 a month. Now, compare these strategies of jumping right in and spending your life savings on a maybe, or always wondering if your million dollar idea would work, or spend $6.99 a month and know for sure that you have a better chance for success.
I think we can all agree that this method of testing the water before taking the plunge is very powerful. Just about everyone can follow their startup dreams at this price. Good luck.
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