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How to Test Your Business Idea Without Spending a Dime

How to Test Your Business Idea Without Spending a Dime

So, you have an amazing idea for a new small business? You are sure that your idea is going to be the “next big thing” but not that sure you should start investing money (…and time) in it?

Well, why don’t you test your idea first? That way you will be sure that your product has an actual market and that it is worth investing in. Yes, you can test almost any idea you have for FREE.

On the other hand, you can always choose to “play safe” and start a blog in a popular niche, open an e-shop with already selling  items…but is that really going to make YOU successful? Is YOUR business really going to survive among all the competition? Not quite sure about that.

Let’s get back to developing, testing and improving new business ideas. After all, you are reading Lifehack!  Just follow the steps bellow:

…before you start:

In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you must first think like one. Yes, you may have heard the phrase “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it” a dozen times, and it certainly has a point. Before testing a business idea successfully, you really must act (and believe) as if it has already been established.

    Step 1: Create a Landing Page:

    Now that you have (an imaginary) business, it is time to get it in front of your (real) audience. And when it comes to customer acquisition, nothing beats the Internet! First things first, create a landing page for free.

    With so many free options out there, you certainly don’t need to spend money on creating a landing page. Try out ucraft’s Free Landing Page Creator and play a bit with different font styles, colors, taglines and images. This page builder has all the features you may need and doesn’t require coding skills at all (what a relief, right?!). You just need to drag & drop, mix & match.

      There is no need to spend too much time building a landing page, the point is to make a few different ones and see how your target audience will react. Afterwards, you’ll be able to combine elements till you find the perfect solution.

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      As mentioned, there are quite a few things you should test on a landing page: start with a template, focus on a catchy text and finish by creating several CTA buttons. When you find a combination with a decent amount of conversions (or at least clicks), you can focus on details such as the tagline, font styles and colors, effects, image sliders etc. Don’t underestimate these so-called “details” – you won’t believe how big of a difference they can make!

            Here are some examples and results of landing page A/B testing, so you can get the idea of how important it is to try out different combinations of:

            …icons

              …CTA buttons

                …anchoring words

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                  …recommending

                    …smaller commitments

                      As you can see, you should really test EVERYTHING, depending on the look of your landing page.

                      Oh right, how to actually test all those landing pages? Don’t worry, it is also very easy and FREE.

                      Sign up with Optimizely for a free trial and start improving elements to get more conversions! You’ll just need to add one line of code to your site and you’re ready to work on your creativity. Don’t forget to keep monitoring what others have to say about it (…I mean, if they actually click the CTA button.)

                        Now that you’ve built a landing page good enough for your brilliant idea, keep testing to see if it’s that brilliant.

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                        Step 2: Get Some Traffic!

                        Well, people won’t find your business by themselves! Yes, a landing page is the first step to take, but now is the time to work on getting traffic to it.

                        Here are 10 basic ways to do it for FREE:

                        • Create a Facebook Page:

                        Facebook has become such a mighty acquisition channel that it is almost impossible for a business not to have an official Facebook page. Ensure yours has high-quality images and graphics (use Canva or Designbold for this purpose), all needed contact information and don’t forget to post regularly. Make sure not all of your posts have a “sales tone”, you should try to manage your page in a way that would be appealing to your potential customers, so add a “how-to” or an “interesting fact” post from time to time.

                        • Create an Instagram Account:

                        An official Instagram page is also a must, regardless of your niche. Include necessary info in the Bio section, but also don’t forget to add a brief description and relevant hashtags under your images. The advantage that Instagram has over Facebook is that you can manually find people who are following accounts similar to yours and try to make them follow you back. That way, you can build your (relevant) audience without spending a dime.

                        • Create a Twitter account:

                        When it comes to promoting your business on social media, Twitter should also be your go-to place (there are more, but depending on the niche, you’ll chose the right ones). You can also manually follow other people, but you really need to actively tweet in order to keep your followers’ attention. Ah, yes, don’t forget to mention your landing page in the Bio section, that’s the point, right?

                        • Be Active on Quora:

                        Now you are probably thinking: one more social media channel? Well, using Quora for business is quite different. Yes, you should create a profile (but not an official one, just pick a name) and try to answer as many niche-related questions as possible. The idea is to show how your business/landing page is the right answer and of course, to link back to it.

                        • Be Active on Reddit:

                        The Quora tactic applies to Reddit as well. The thing is that the community over there is really picky, so if your profile isn’t strong enough or if you are an obvious spammer, you will get banned in no time. Both on Quora and Reddit, you can read comments from real people that can help you improve your (landing page) business.

                        • Create a SlideShare Account:

                        Prepare well-designed presentations about your business and upload them to SlideShare in order to reach broader audiences. Having doubts? Well, did you know that it is powered by LinkedIn?

                        • Brag on Medium:

                        A little PR never hurt nobody, right? Join Medium and spread your business values and vision. Since this is a community that attracts mostly journalists and bloggers, make sure you “wrap it up’’ in a catchy article.

                        • Join and Create Groups:

                        From Facebook to LinkedIn and Google+,  groups have a strong impact on members’ opinion. Join groups relevant to your niche, comment, share opinion and let them know about your business. But, you should really, really avoid spammy posts since there is no point in getting banned. Moreover, create your own group and attract members who would be interested in your business. You can show off, but you should also engage in conversation and ask for opinion and advice.

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                        • Create an Infographic:

                        Creating an infographic about your business is one of the ways you can gain good backlinks to your landing page. However, you shouldn’t be creating them just for SEO purposes. For instance, imagine if it got shared by a big niche influencer? That’d be cool. Just be creative and do your outreach homework thoroughly! Don’t forget to add “created by (insert your company name)”! You can use Vengage or similar tools to create infographics for free.

                        • Join H.A.R.O.

                        H.A.R.O. is a place where you can meet people from your niche, exchange advice, but also get featured on their blogs. So, create a profile, write about your business and gather useful information on both improving and promoting it.

                        Now that you’ve completed all the basic promotion steps, it is time to take it to the next, more advanced level:

                        • SaaSGenius – If you have a SaaS business, this is the directory to submit it to. SaasGenius can bring you high-quality customers, so do your best to build a powerful profile.
                        • GetApp  – This is the ideal place to promote your business app, so don’t skip it!
                        • Hackernews – You need to promote your tech business on this website. Make sure your headlines are catchy since new posts are published almost every minute!
                        • Growthhackers.com – This is a community you’ll want to join if you are into marketing. Show how professional you are!
                        • Inbound.org – The same goes for this community, just make sure you present yourself in the best light.
                        • Digg – This is a great place to present your company blog. Start promoting your landing page in the best possible way.
                        • Dailymotion – Creating promotional videos about your business is always a good idea. Harness the power of Dailymotion and present your videos to a large community.
                        • Hub Pages  – This platform can bring you a lot of amazing leads, but you really need to put some effort into creating original content. Even though promoting your business here is time-consuming, you should take advantage of Hub Pages.

                        Step 3: Face the Truth!

                        Well, now that you’ve done everything to gain attention, you should sit back and see what happens: tons of leads…or zero of them. Of course, it can be something in between and that means that you should keep trying, improving and testing.

                        If zero leads isn’t the case with your landing page, now is the best time to start thinking about investing money in your business and promoting it through paid campaigns. You’ll have to test them as well (…but let’s leave this for another article).

                          Whatever the case may be, remember that massive success doesn’t come overnight and that it goes hand in hand with effort, patience and guess what else? Yes, that’s right, testing.

                          Believe in yourself and good luck!

                          Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                          Ana Grasic

                          Growth Hacker, Economist, Marketer

                          10 Lessons from a Frustrated Blogger 10 Hacks and Tools to Boost Your Productivity (Infographic) How to Test Your Business Idea Without Spending a Dime

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                          Published on August 4, 2020

                          36 Important Resume Skills (For All Types of Jobs)

                          36 Important Resume Skills (For All Types of Jobs)

                          Most jobs require specialized skills. At the same time, there are a lot of resume skills that apply across the board.

                          If you’re on the hunt for a new job, give your resume a refresh. Employers want to know: Can you communicate effectively? Are you easy to get along with? Can you manage your time effectively?

                          Remember, you may not get a second look. Use your resume to make a great first impression.

                          Holistic ability is what employers want to see when hiring. These resume skills can make you a top pick regardless of what role you’re applying for.

                          Communication

                          Being properly understood is critical. On any team, you must be able to relay and interpret messages with speed and precision. How you describe yourself, the concision of your phrasings, and the layout of your resume are great ways to showcase these skills.

                          1. Writing

                          Whether it’s emails or official documents, writing skills are essential for candidates in any industry. Clear, concise phrasings minimize misunderstandings and save the recipient time. This is probably one of the most important resume skills.

                          2. Verbal Communication

                          Speaking clearly and eloquently is one of the first things a hiring manager will note in an interview. Communicating over the phone is commonplace in business. Outline this skill on your resume, and they’ll invite you in to listen for themselves. This is easily one of the most important resume skills in most industries.

                          3. Presentation

                          Sales pitches and company meetings may include presentations, which require special communication skills. Being able to spearhead and properly carry out a presentation shows organization and resolve.

                          4. Multilingualism

                          Knowing more than one language can open doors for you and the business you represent.[1] Being able to speak another language allows your company to serve a whole new demographic.

                          5. Reading Comprehension

                          At any job, employee handbooks, company newsletters, and emails will come your way. Being able to decipher them quickly and effectively is an important resume skill. This goes hand in hand with having excellent writing skills.

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                          Tech Savvy

                          Technology is evolving rapidly, especially in the business world. Be sure to mention the technologies you’re familiar with on your resume, even if you don’t expect to use them daily.

                          6. Social Media

                          Almost everyone has some form of social media these days. Companies use platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to reach new audiences, provide customer service, and build brand loyalty.

                          7. Operating Systems

                          Can you use a Mac? What about a PC? Most jobs today require the use of a computer. Prior experience navigating common operating systems will help you acclimate much more quickly. This has become an important resume skill ever since the start of the information age.

                          8. Microsoft Office

                          Of all the software in the world, Microsoft’s Office suite might be the most popular. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook are widely used in the business world. Having this as part of your resume skills is very helpful especially in certain industries.

                          9. Job-Specific Programs

                          Did you get the hang of HubSpot in your last role? Is Slack something you’ve mastered? Be sure to mention them on your list of resume skills. These demonstrate that you can pick up new tools quickly.

                          Interpersonal Skills

                          Despite the rise in technology, businesses are run by people. Working with and for people means you need to be able to handle yourself with poise in different social settings. Highlight roles and situations on your resume that involved tricky conversations.

                          10. Customer Service

                          No company can succeed without its customers. Being able to treat customers with respect and attention is an absolute must for any applicant. Specific industries regard this as the most important resume skill their prospective employees should have.

                          11. Active Listening

                          Listening is an underrated skill, especially for leaders.[2] If you can’t listen to other people, you’ll struggle to work as part of a team.

                          12. Sense of Humor

                          You might wonder why having a sense of humor is a part of your resume skills. Humor is important for building rapport, but getting it right in the workplace can be tough. Everyone loves someone who is entertaining and can lighten the mood. On the other hand, people are turned off by immaturity and inappropriate jokes.

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                          13. Conflict Resolution

                          A customer stomps up to your desk and starts yelling about a problem he or she is having – how do you handle this situation? The right approach is to work to resolve the situation, not to escalate or avoid it.

                          Teamwork

                          One of the best parts of any job is the bonds you build with your co-workers. Fostering healthy relationships can make the workspace more enjoyable for everyone.

                          14. Collaboration

                          Whatever your line of work, chances are good that you’ll be working with others. Being able to collaborate effectively with them is critical if the whole team is to hit its goals. You can use various apps and tools available to help you collaborate with your team.

                          15. Leadership

                          Even if the title of the job you’re applying to isn’t “manager” or “executive,” there will still be moments when it’s your turn to lead. Prove that you’re up to the challenge, and you’ll be looked at as a long-term asset. Listing this as one of your resume skills is certainly an eye-catcher for most.

                          16. Reliability

                          Work isn’t always easy or fun. You have to be willing to pull your weight, even when times are hard. Otherwise, your co-workers won’t feel as if they can count on you. Reliability is important in maintaining the cohesion of a team. You should let people know that they can rely on you.

                          17. Transparency

                          To work as a team, members must be willing to share information with each other. Are you willing to own up to your mistakes, share your challenges, and accept consequences like an adult? Let them know that you’re transparent and reliable.

                          Personal Traits

                          Your resume is about selling yourself, not just your education and work history. The good news is, your “soft” skills are a great opportunity to differentiate yourself. Use bullets beneath your past experiences to prove you have them.

                          18. Adaptability

                          In any role, you’ll need to adjust to new procedures, rules, and work environments. Remember, these are always subject to change. Being able to adapt ensures every transition goes smoothly.

                          19. Proactivity

                          An autonomous employee can get work done without being instructed every step of the way. Orientation is one thing; taking on challenges of your own accord is another. Being proactive is an essential resume skill, especially if you’re eyeing for managerial roles in the future.

                          20. Problem-Solving

                          When problems arise, can you come up with appropriate solutions? Being able to address your own problems makes your manager’s life easier and minimizes micro-management. Problem-solving is an important yet often overlooked resume skill.

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                          21. Creativity

                          Can you think outside of the box? Even roles that aren’t “creative,” strictly speaking, require creative thinking. Creativity also helps in your ability to solve problems.

                          22. Organization

                          Staying organized makes you more efficient and reduces the risk of mistakes. Organization skills make life easier not just for you, but also for other members of your team. This makes it an important skill to put in your list of resume skills.

                          23. Work Ethic

                          Every company wants hard workers on its team. You’re applying for employment after all, not a place to lounge around. Putting this on your list of resume skills is just as important as actually exhibiting it in the workplace once you’re hired.

                          24. Stress Management

                          How well do you work under stress? If you’ll be required to meet tight deadlines, you’ll have to prove you can handle the heat.

                          25. Attention Management

                          Whether you’re developing a partnership or writing a blog post, attention to detail makes all the difference. People who sweat the details do better work and tend to spot problems before they arise. Use Maura Thomas’s 4 Quadrants of Attention Management as a guide to managing attention.[3]

                          26. Time Management

                          Time is money. The better you are at using company time, the more valuable you’ll be. Show that you can make every second count. Managing your time also means being punctual. No employer wants to deal with a team member who’s constantly tardy. This is commonly included in most people’s resume skills, but not everyone lives up to it.

                          27. Patience

                          Things won’t always go your way. Can you calmly work through tough situations? If not, you’ll struggle with everything from sales to customer service to engineering.

                          28. Gratitude

                          When things do go your way, are you gracious? Simply being grateful can help you build real relationships.[4] This also helps foster a better team atmosphere.

                          29. Learning

                          Employers want to invest in people who are looking to grow. Whether you love to take online courses, read, or experiment with hobbies, make sure you show you’re willing to try new things.

                          30. Physical Capability

                          Many job postings have the classic line, “must be able to lift X amount of pounds” or “must be able to stand for X hours per day.” Play up past positions that required you to do physical labor.

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                          31. Research

                          How easily can you dig up new details about a concept? Research skills are critical for marketing, business analysis, writing, account management, and more.

                          32. Money Handling

                          Being able to count bills quickly and accurately is important at any company with a brick-and-mortar storefront. Integrity and honesty are key when you’re running the cash register or reconciling bank statements.

                          Commitment

                          To employers, every new hire represents an investment. Are you worth investing in? Prove it. Employers need to see signs of commitment before they bring you on board.

                          33. Longevity

                          Hiring managers love to see long tenures on your resume. This suggests that you’re in it for the long haul, not just passing through for a quick buck.

                          34. Fidelity

                          For an employer-employee relationship to work, there has to be trust. Employers tend to find out when someone is hiding side gig or sharing information they shouldn’t be. References from past employers can prove that you’re loyal to companies that hire you.

                          35. Obedience

                          You won’t agree with every choice your employer makes. With that said, you have to respect your role as an employee. Obedience is about doing what your leader decides is best, even if you have a different perspective.

                          36. Flexibility

                          Life is full of surprises. A month into your new job, your role could change entirely. Flexible people can roll with the punches.

                          Final Words

                          Perform a self-audit: Which of these skills will your potential employer want to see? Add them to your resume strategically, and you’ll be that much closer to your dream job.

                          Tips on How to Create a Great Resume

                          Featured photo credit: Van Tay Media via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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