How To Test Your Business Idea and Make Some Money

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It is easy to fall into the trap of creating a product or service which you are super excited about but people are not willing to pay for. Often initial feedback from friends, family and acquaintances is positive. However it is good to remember that things are usually a great idea until you ask them to part with their cash for it, then you really find out what the demand is truly like.

What is test trading?

Test trading is a way for you to practice running your business on a small scale and to see if people are willing to buy what you are selling. It is also a great opportunity to get testimonials about you and your business so you have the necessary social proof when you start properly. You often have to get creative with how you do this as you will not have everything set up fully. How you could test trade your business idea? 

How to do it:

If you cannot charge for your services as you are not fully up and running then you could offer your services for free in return for direct feedback e.g. would they buy it, what would they change about it, how much would they pay for it.

A few examples of test trading:

1) Coaching - If you want to become a coach in whatever field (health, life, nutrition, mindfulness, business etc) you could offer sessions via facebook groups that you are a member of on a pay what you feel it is worth basis

2) Selling a product - Can you get a stall at a local market or event to see if people want to buy your products

3) Graphic designer or other professional services - Can you advertise on Fiverr or equivalent website to get customers and actually start delivering your services? You can also offer your services in Facebook groups which your target market are members of (subject to their group rules)

The key thing is that your test trading should replicate the business you are trying to start as closely as possible. You also need to bear in mind that even if you are just test trading for a day you will need to consider insurance and any other legal requirements, you should see guidance in these areas from a suitably qualified professional.

Why should you do it?

The benefit of test trading is that you can make changes to your business before fully launching based on the results. It also helps answers many questions you might have about running their business such as:

  1. Is there demand for what you are selling?
  2. Do you enjoy running the business?
  3. Do you have the skills needed to run the business?
  4. What do your customers think of you and your service?
  5. Will the business idea work?
  6. Will anyone want to buy from you?
  7. How much work will it take to run your business?
  8. What do you like about running a business and what do you not like?
  9. Have you set the right price?

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