Look before you leap. Truer words have never been spoken, and they ring true in the business world too. The entrepreneurial spirit is one that is so committed to its vision, so committed to seeing something through to fruition, that oftentimes it can be far too easy to fall into the trap of trusting gut feelings across the board. By nature, entrepreneurs are all in, all the time. And that’s a beautiful thing. However, there is a way to be “all in” that’s smarter and that will produce better results.
No one has a crystal ball to predict what will work and what won’t. We have gut feelings, we believe, and we move forward on our ideas. In essence, we bet it all. Sometimes it works but many times it doesn’t. So, how do we hedge our bet? Well, there is a way to reduce losses and increase the likelihood of success. It’s called testing.
Let the Market Tell YOU What it Wants
Every aspiring entrepreneur should take the time to lay the proper groundwork before launching something new. In studying businesses that have succeeded and those that have failed, the difference is planning, points out Entrepreneur. Successful business leaders don’t go to work every day expecting a new adventure; rather, they have a plan because they’ve done their due diligence. The benefits of careful planning and the disasters that can result from a failure to plan have been well documented over and over again.
So, whenever you are faced with making a capital investment or launching a new product, test it. Try it out. The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you can try something out and see what the response is from the marketplace. Test two ads and see what works best. Take a couple of shots that have variations and test them on a small scale basis to determine which one has a higher return.
In essence, take a step away from listening solely to your instincts all the time and moving toward tried and true results. Take advertising, for example. Before you make an expensive commitment to one ad that you feel in your gut will be a sure thing, test out a few themes, sit back and see what the market tells you. Then, pick the best one.
Why not let the market tell you what to do so you have the highest chance of success?
Before you begin planning your product launch, you must understand your audience and you must understand what’s been proven to work before, says Inc. This takes market research, and there are many testing tools out there to conduct it. By planning, you will better know:
- How to position your product
- Which one out of multiple options will work best
- Where you should distribute your product
- How you should price it
- Where and how you should market it
Key to Preserving Capital
Testing is a critical component in ensuring you don’t waste capital and you don’t waste your time on mistakes. It’s essential to determine what the best path is – not the only path that you envision in your head. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to test successfully without investing a large amount of money.
According to Forbes, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. That means 80 percent of businesses crash and burn. On the surface, the reason is because they ran out of cash. That’s very true, but the underlying reasons point to a lack of planning and testing.
Faced with those odds, it’s time to make a change with the way you approach new rollouts, launches, ideas and products. Let the market tell you what’s right, what’s better, what works, what doesn’t work. Let the market tell you which name, price, color or variety. Choices and alternatives always exist, and the smart entrepreneur will explore and test all options before making that leap.
A free consultation may be all you need to get the clarity and insight you need to move forward. Contact Second Wind Consultants today to learn how we can help direct your business.