In my last blog, I discussed about how to kick-start your part-time business. Due to overwhelming response of my readers and their curious questions such as….”How would I know that my business will work?”, I thought of writing another blog. In this blog post, I will provide you with some ideas through which you can test your business model very easily and effortlessly.
You will find your prospective customers by getting out of your building, spreading the word, and through word of mouth. I would advise you to use the networking as your primary tool, instead of cold calling people. Try to explore your existing friend and family circle, and develop those new relationships. Try to contact and meet with your potential customers, experts, or people who can introduce you to potential customers or experts — through your family, friends and other contacts.
Start with your primary contacts. Talk with your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, church or professional association members, and others in your personal network. You will be surprised on how much people are willing to help. Tell them about your new business idea. Ask them if they know anyone who might have a professional interest in your business. Get as many names and contact particulars as you can. Prepare a list of experts and expected customers, and then start asking them questions.
The most important thing you want to ask them is…..whether or not your business model is workable. Some of the important questions that you might want to ask them are…..
- Will your customers be confident about your capabilities do the job? I mean, do you possess the key resources and/or partners needed to deliver the promised value? Do your proposed key activities support the value provided?
- Do any of your prospective customers care about the value you can provide to their business/lives? Are they willing to pay for the product/service that you are offering? Is your asking price too much for the service/product that you are providing?
- Will you be able to bear all of the costs needed to implement your business model? What kind of other hidden costs will you encounter in the future (according to their experience)?
- Through which channels do your customers want to be contacted and served? Are you possessing appropriate customer relationships attributes required to sustain in that market?
During these meetings, make sure to avoid selling your products/services. Your meetings should focus on validating your personal business model assumptions from the customer’s perspective. Also, when you ask someone for help, they are more likely to be responsive as compared to the experience when you try to sell them something.
Please make sure to record each answer for your future reference. Try to analyze these data before you make any changes in your business model. Don’t go overboard with the analysis. Just try to come on a conclusion, which can tell you if your service/product is different than others, and if customers are willing to pay for it.
I hope, this blog has provided you with some pointers through which you can test your business ideas. Do you have any ideas through which one can easily test his/her business model? If so, please share it with my readers through the comments below.
Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi