I hate plans.
Most of all, I hate marketing plans!
So, let me tell you about Brandon: he is one of the principals of an interesting Angel Investing firm-with-a-twist. On his company’s blog, Brandon offers some of the best advice for testing your new business idea that I have ever read.
Not only that – like all GREAT ideas – it’s simplicity in itself … here’s what Brandon says:
Let me sum this up in one sentence:
As a startup or new business, the amount of time you spend writing up a sexy business plan to pitch investors would be better spent running a $500 PPC campaign testing your idea.
[Note: PPC = Pay Per Click online advertising]
You are lucky enough to live in a world with Google Adwords. This is a good thing. The costs of launching a new business online are hastily reducing to zero. Testing a business idea or even a half-baked, half-assed business-sorta idea, is easy. So do it.
Stop thinking about writing a business plan (that you mostly copy of some web template – be honest), and start here:
1. Register a domain name. Doesn’t have to be good. Starting a bird feeder biz? Get birdfeederdepot1.com.
2. Get hosting, install the CMS [e.g. WordPress or Blogger] of your choice.
3. Make 3-4 landing pages. Ask questions. Find out some key answers to the market you are hoping to serve with your genius new idea. Offer to sell your service right now.
4. Setup [a Google] Adwords campaign and spend $500.
5. Read the answers you get. Scour the analytics, the keywords and clicks. Any sale or response is good. Email your new ‘customers’ and find out more about them.
The point is, this is so easy and cheap to do, you should do it. There’s no risk in doing so, and the upside is possibly priceless.
It could save you from wasting 9 months of your life chasing a bad idea. It could teach you what people really want, not what you think they want. It makes you get serious.