How to prove your business idea will work
Drummond Gilbert set up his car sharing website in early 2010. It
was a completely new industry for Gilbert, and he broke into this
unknown market with a very small budget - thus a narrow margin for
error. Here's how he proved his business concept and validated his
When you're first starting-up, some people believe if you reveal
anything about your business idea it'll be copied and you'll end up
being exploited. I take the view you are actually better off
talking to people, bouncing ideas off them and benefiting from
I'll happily bore anyone who will listen about GoCarShare.com.
With any good idea you need to accept there are plenty of people
thinking about it. Your ability to succeed lies in how you choose
to implement the idea and your persistence to actually do it.
I ask people for feedback at every opportunity: I setup an online
questionnaire at surveymonkey.com and posted
the link on my Facebook
page. As a result I realised not enough people would pay to use car
sharing and the website must be free for individual users - a
costly mistake averted.
I've also asked for feedback on a competition I'm running to
design a logo for GoCarShare.com on 99designs.com, where friends
and contacts have been able to comment on the entries to help me
decide which is best.
Facebook and Twitter are great for instantaneous feedback on
ideas, but I think to really benefit from social media you need to
start looking further afield. I am setting up a group on Xing that will allow the potential
users of my site to have their say on how the website is built.
This provides a double benefit, the website will be well designed
as it will incorporate customers' needs and it builds up demand for
the service before we've launched.
Once we're live I believe it is key people are still able to
easily and openly voice their opinion. Why? 'Reputation capital'.
People in online communities are driven in part by the respect for
their peers; they love to impart knowledge and demonstrate they are
an expert in a certain field.
This is proved all the more so by the success of the recent Secret
London website where people share lesser known, exciting places
they have discovered in London. In my mind, secrets are all well
and good but sometime sharing ideas and collaborating is
Smarta Business Builder
To help you on your business journey, we've
created Smarta Business Builder, the complete online
tools package for growing your business. Website
Builder, Business Plans,
Documents and Email - all
in one place - from just £20 per month with no contract! Try it out