#95: How to Test Your Next Business Idea

Picture this: you wake up one morning with an amazing idea. You do a little research on it and, by the end of the day, feel a growing sense that this idea of yours has real selling potential. Maybe you even ask your audience directly if they’d be interested in this idea, and they give it a resounding “Yes, please!”

And then, after all this, you put your great idea into action…and it doesn’t sell. Nothing comes of it.

When you spend time, effort, and money putting together something for your audience, only to hear crickets when you put it out into the world, it can really crush your confidence, not to mention put a dent in your bottom line.

But what if you could take your idea through a proven process that makes sure it’s a good fit for you, your business, and for your audience?

Now that’s a pretty good idea, right?

podcast95

My good friend Pat Flynn has tested many, many great ideas over the course of his online career. And believe it or not, even Pat has had a few ideas that he thought were great end up dead in the water. That’s what led to his new book Will It Fly?, which shows entrepreneurs how to test their great ideas for real value.

On today’s podcast episode, Pat and I are going to walk you through some ideas, insights, and tips to help you learn how to test whether your idea will work for you and your audience. It’s a great episode and you’re going to want to hear the whole thing–trust me!

Pat is one of the hardest working guys out there. But even more impressive than his work ethic is his transparency. If you’ve visited his site, you’ve seen that he publishes his monthly revenue reports so that viewers can see real-life proof of how well his ideas work.

Success Isn’t Overnight

As entrepreneurs, we’re always talking about launching. Launching is a big part of what we do, but how often do we talk about what happens after you launch? Is your idea actually going to take off? Is it going to fly? Is it going to keep going or is it going to crash?

Whether you need permission to really get moving on your latest idea, or if you require some “tough love” in order to let this one go and keep searching for inspiration, Pat’s book is going to give you some fundamental tools for entrepreneurial success.

button95

The Three Validation Tests

One of the best things Pat’s book offers is the three validation tests that show how an idea fits into your life, your strengths, and the overall goal of your business.

  • The Airport Test

Imagine that it’s five years from now. You’re at the airpot and you run into someone you haven’t seen in the past five years. They ask you “How’s life?”

Now imagine you answer “Life is great. It couldn’t be better!” What would be happening, five years from now, to make you say that?

Now ask yourself: is the idea you’re working on right now contributing to that five-years-from-now goal?

  • The History Test

This test makes you analyze three or four of the different jobs you’ve had in the past. You call to mind the position, the environment, the people you worked with, specific memories that are either pleasant or painful.

When you do a review like this, it helps you see what those jobs might have had in common…and why that pattern might be attracting you over and over. Does it point out a skill or a preference that you have? Whether they were good jobs or bad jobs, they have something valuable to tell you about who you are…and that will give you a better understanding of how your idea fits into your skill set.

  • The Shark Bait Test

Imagine you are a contestant on the show Shark Tank, standing in front of the celebrity investors and pitching your idea. Doing this honestly, from your gut, takes away the salesmanship from the exercise, and makes you really speak to why you and your idea are special and why people would be crazy not to get on board with it.

If you know Pat and his content at all, you know that his superpower is taking complex ideas and making them simple and easy to digest. And he brings that gift in full force to today’s episode. His tips on how to tackle market research are worth their weight in gold!

Want to check out Pat’s book, where he dives deep into the content he shared with us? Click here to find out more about his new book, Will It Fly.
button95

Links mentioned in this episode

Pat Flynn on Twitter
Will it Fly by Pat Flynn
99 Designs
Smart Passive Income
Income Reports from Smart Passive Income
LEED Study Site
Tim Ferris
Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Noah Kagen
Sumo Jerky

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield