Know Now If Your Business Idea Will Fly Or Die
|May 27, 2012||Posted by Louise under Online Business Ideas|
Sounds very logical, of course. But it’s easy to forget logic when we’re off to the races with some wicked business idea that will revolutionize the world and launch our lives and bodies into a new dimension of freedom and independence…
You know what I mean! The point is sometimes we get excited and carried away, and forget that just because we build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come, no matter what Kevin Costner’s character in The Field of Dreams claims.
As stated in my previous post on how to find a business idea, you have to have an idea (hopefully based on your passion, skills, or talent) that will energize a certain group of people enough to buy from you. Put plainly, to be your own boss, you need profitable business ideas.
So, once you have some ideas, find out if they are profitable by conducting some preliminary market research and save yourself some grief later. As Guillebeau writes in his book, “The hard way to start a business is to fumble along, uncertain whether your big idea will resonate with customers.”
3 Quick Ways To Check If You Have A Profitable Business Idea
Now if you’re one of those who dreads any form of research or doesn’t know where to begin, don’t worry. This type of market research is as easy as browsing the internet or rifling through your local newspaper for that perfect present — something you already know how to do. It’s simply a matter of knowing where to look. And I’ll give you three “wheres” right now:
To get a better picture, I’ll use the scenario of an artist considering starting an online business recycling glass into stained glass windows, glass wind chimes, and jewelry.
Method#1 Google Search
I’m sure you’ve already thought of this one. But you may not know exactly what to look for. You’ll want to consider more than the total results under the search box, which simply indicates the number of sites out there related to your search term.
First of all, if your idea is very specific, you’ll want to broaden it a little and modify it to a searchable term a “shopper” would use to find your service or product online.
For instance, our recycled glass artist could begin with the term “glass décor” in the Google browser, instead of the specific items she creates. Here’s a screen shot of such a search:
As you can see, there are lots of results, but most importantly there are lots of ads. When you see lots of related ads, you know there are buyers. (If you need more explanation as to why that is, read this.)
Then drill down to more specific terms. Here’s the screen shot for “stained glass”:
“Glass wind chimes” returned similar results, but with less ads. “Glass jewelry” also returned similar results with significant number of ads. These results look very promising for our artist.
Method#2 Google Keyword Tool (GKT)
Now, our artist knows that there is a market of sorts for her niche. Let’s get the magnifying glass and get a better look at this glass décor market.
- Go to the GKT (link) and sign-in.
- Enter the term “glass décor” again. Scroll down and check both the Broad and “Phrase” boxes located in the left margin. Click search.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what you should see:
For the purpose of finding lucrative markets, you want to focus on the global monthly searches, the approximate CPC amounts, and the competition (indicated in the screen shot). If your monthly searches are high, then you know people are searching in your niche. When CPC amounts are high, you know that advertisers are paying lots to be in your niche and therefore it is likely profitable. And if the competition is high or medium, then you have another indicator that there is advertiser action in this niche (another good indicator of a likely market).
What if you have low results?
On the other hand, if you want to blog about everything on archery, you could enter something like “how to archery”, in the GKT. At the time this was written, the results show high monthly traffic, which is good, but you’ll see lower CPC amounts and mostly low and medium competition. Although there’s lots of traffic, the low advertising competition and low CPC amounts could be an indicator of not many buyers, but you would have to dig further to know for sure.
Likewise if you’re a history buff and passionate about the forties decade, the GKT results for “life in the forties” would show you lower competition and CPC amounts as well as low monthly traffic. This to me would indicate minimal current activity from traffic, buyers and eventually in my bank account!
Remember, this post is on how to detect the current profitability of your idea/niche. So, for the purpose of this post, we’ll move on. But keep in mind, you can still make a go of ideas with similar results to “how to archery” and “life in the forties”; you’ll just have to be more creative on how to be profitable and how to drum-up traffic. It’s possible. You’ll just have to do more research and more work…
But back to checking out if your idea resonates in today’s market and if your ideas are profitable right now.
Method#3 Go To The Market
So far, our artist has dug-up some pretty good indicators of profitability. Now, being that she is producing and selling a physical product, we’ll go to the market and see if artsy glass items are selling there.
Well-known online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy all sell décor and jewelry. With a bit more research, our artist would also find other similar sites like Supermarkethq.com, ArtFire.com, and Dawanda.com. On these sites, she would do a search to see how many products fall under decor and jewelry. She can also run a specific search for “glass decor”, “glass jewelry”, and “glass wind chimes” to see how many such products turn up. Results for these searches indicate potential markets.
When offering digital products
If instead, you wanted to offer a digital information product for download like an ebook or videos, then your search would include sites that sell those types of products like Amazon, Clickbank, and iTunes store (via the iBooks app). Check to see if products in your niche are offered. You’ll get additional stats on Clickbank to help pinpoint the popularity of products in your niche. Usually, if many products are being offered, it’s because there’s an accompanying buyer’s market.
When offering services
Alternatively, if you are selling a service such as translations, you can look-up online freelance marketplaces like elance.com and see if related projects are listed. Many would mean that demand exists.
However, if your service does not appear on that particular website, don’t conclude your market isn’t profitable. It simply means you need to dig further to find a market site that covers your type of service.
And if after further searches, you still can’t locate related marketplace sites, it could be that none exists.
Yet…hint, hint 😉
These are just three ways among many to explore the profit potential of your business ideas. But starting with these three quick online methods will helpyou decide now if you idea will fly or die.
So, have you taken time yet to see if a market exists for your super business idea? What did you discover? Did you use a different method? Please leave a comment.
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