Think of your business as a restaurant. What you're telling me is that you want to take a piece of land at what you consider to be a good location, and build a restaurant.
I say, instead of building the restaurant, cook the food first, and let people eat it. And if they like the food, then build the restaurant.
What I mean in practical terms is, test the market before you do anything else. Especially with the internet, it's especially easy now to test the market. Here are some examples:
A client wants to buy a house to rent it out, but he's not sure if he'll be able to rent it. I say, put an ad up on CraigsList (or similar) as if you already have the house for rent, and see how many interested parties you get. Then use that to gauge whether or not to buy the house. You've spent just minutes of your time testing the market (see my related musings about the 80/20 rule below).
You want to build the next cool gizmo. I say, put a website up showing pictures of the gizmo and have an order form, then try marketing it to the people you think will want it, and try to get some pre-orders on the product.
So test, test, test, and don't be afraid to tell everyone who will listen about your idea. Don't guard your idea because you're afraid that someone will copy it. You ar so much better off getting feedback from anyone who will listen, because guaranteed, it will be many times better than if you try to figure the market out by yourself. You might end up with 100% of the product/idea if you do it all yourself, but 100% of zero isn't much.
Such a great piece of text! No idea how you were able to write this text..it'd take me days. Well worth it though, I'd assume. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?
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Daniel Odio gives tips and tricks for entrepreneurs!
Click to listen to "Episode 65: Interview Part 1" and click to listen to "Episode 66: Interview Part 2"
Jim Hopkinson, Wired.com's Marketing Guy and creator ofThe Hopkinson Report, recently interviewed me for his Hopkinson Report podcast. Here's a Tweet of Jim's about the Podcast, and another one about my social media hardware bag and another on my blog posting about how to hire people effectively.
Here is a transcript of the Podcasts
About a year ago I was in my bed, working on my laptop. A fist pounded on the wall of my RV, moving from the front to the back. Then more pounding on the other side. Finally I hear someone yanking on the RV doors. I slowly shut my laptop, turned off the lights, and sat in the darkness as I waited for the police to decide I wasn't home.
It was then that I decided I'd try and find somewhere legal to park the RV.
I sent out dozens of emails and got only one reply. A girl had an apartment in the Mission and was willing to rent me her driveway. I showed up with the RV, shimmied it past the entrance gate, and agreed to rent the spot. She asked where I lived, and thinking that we were getting along really well, I bluntly replied, "In here!" as I patted the wall of the RV.
"Oh! Right! Okay. Hmm. Let me think about this for a second. Wow! Am I okay with this? Yeah, I guess so. Okay! This is fine."