If you’re like most people, you’ve wanted to start your own business and work from home. Entrepreneurs are everywhere, but many people don’t know where to start. To make money online takes more than just having a million dollar business idea. It means knowing how to develop a business plan and testing your new business idea.
One really simple method has been described by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup.” Most entrepreneurs have heard about or read this book. But there is a big difference between understanding the method and actually applying it.
Do you feel confident that you can test your Million Dollar Business idea well enough to make a decision to invest in it?
Here are some resources that I have found are very helpful. If you need more help, click the link at the bottom of the post.
Where to begin
The first thing you’ll want to do is create accounts for your business idea. Before even worrying about a small business loan or figuring out what equity is, you need to establish your online presence in a way that potential customers can easily find you. The first place I recommend going is gmail.
You can use your gmail account to setup all your other accounts, like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. Gmail is the Lord of the Rings account… one to rule them all.
I have my accounts … now what?
Now you need to set up a test for your idea. Specifically, you need to measure the acceptance of your idea amongst your target customers.
There are three challenges associated with this:
- Identifying your target customers and finding the best way to communicate with them
- Creating a message they will respond to
- Measuring these responses in a way that will allow you to make a decision about the value of your idea
You don’t need an MBA from Harvard to do this, but the process does take time and practice. In essence, this is marketing 101, and it’s an art. People spend a lot of money trying to figure out how to reach their customers with a message they will respond to, so doing it in this test environment takes iteration.
Sometimes just sending out a survey is enough. If you do that, use services like ConstantContact or GetResponse since they will provide a lot of data on your response rates. You’ll need to find a relevant email list… which is no small thing.
If you want to build and test a landing page, then measuring content becomes more challenging. Most customer expect a certain level of design for websites. The nice thing is that services like UnBounce and LeadPages make it easy to build pretty good-looking websites at only around $50 per month for a subscription. You can also use WordPress.
The main point is: all of these allow you to measure the content you post. By reviewing the number of visitors, bounce rates, demographics, etc … you will be able to adjust your messaging to refine how you target your customers. If the number of potential customers looks big enough, then you can assume you idea is validated.
I’ve identified potential customers … now what?
Now comes the fun part. A business, by definition, is something that collects money for a product or service. You’re going to have to engage with these potential customers and sell them on your service. There are several ways to accept payment, but the most common is PayPal. Setup a PayPal account, tie it to your website or email marketing campaign, and away you go.
Some other aspects you may need to consider are deciding equity amongst partners, setting up a small business loan or small business bank account, and getting legal assistance to write up contracts.
Does this sound complicated?
It can be.
Thankfully, there are services that help you set-up and manage all these accounts. If you want to test your million dollar idea as a business, you can use VentureVerify to help you through this whole process. They do everything from establishing all your accounts to connecting you with software developers, if the idea is something you want to grow.
I hope this helps all the entrepreneurs out there.