New business ideas are fantastic. The rush that comes with new ideas is a lovely feeling. You quickly write it down on paper, or make a mental note right there and then. The thing is it’s just an idea. It’s a hunch or intuition. You have no idea if people want your new business idea. Or if there is a need for your idea. Yes, your idea may be rooted in a problem you found. But you don’t know many people have this problem.
Here’s the amazing thing. We live in the information age. We have more access to information today than ever. There is too much information readily available. The great thing is we can use this information to our advantage. In so many ways. One way is to see how many people need our business ideas. Thanks to the internet we can easily find this information out with just a few keystrokes.
In order to gauge demand for your new business idea, we must know what we’re searching for. For the purposes of this blog post I’m going to use my startup Logobly. The long description of Logobly is it’s a software as a service business that allows people to create logos online for their new businesses. That sounds like a real mouthful. But it’s not. Put simply Logobly is a logo maker. ‘Logo maker’ is the key term I will be using to gauge demand for this business idea.
Now I know what you’re saying, my business ideas are a little more complicated than a ‘logo maker’. What you need to do is break your business idea down into its simplest form. For example, Airbnb can be put as simply as ‘Holiday Accommodation’. Uber can be put as simply as ‘Taxi Cab’. Yes, the technology and business model may be complicated. But the core need can be put in very simple terms.
Have a look over your business ideas and write down the simplest way you can use to describe it. Break your business idea down into its simplest form. These words are what you’re going to need to use when testing demand for your business idea via the below methods.
Here are my 5 simple ways to gauge demand for your business ideas
1. Check how many people are searching for your business ideas
First stop is search engines. One of the fastest and easiest ways to test demand for your business idea is to see how many people are searching for your business online. My go-to tool is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.
Ubersuggest is an amazing free tool that lets you punch in a few keywords and you can instantly see how many people are searching for these terms. When I punch the words ‘logo maker’ into Ubersuggest I can see that in the United States there are approximately 246,000 people looking for a logo maker each month in the United States. That’s a hell of a lot of people looking for a logo maker! There’s my answer. People really, really want a logo maker. The simple rule when it comes to using this method is the more searches the better. How little is too little? I would say you need to be at the very least in the 50,000 people searching for your business idea each month.
2. See how popular your business idea has been over time
Next up we want to see how popular your business idea has been over the years. You don’t want to have a trendy business idea that is popular for a few months and then fades out. This is not a long term solution. You want to create a business that has been historically popular and will be popular well into the future. The perfect tool for this is Google Trends. Google Trends lets you see how many people have historically searched for your business idea over many years. It’s a fantastic way to gauge long term demand.
When I punch ‘logo maker’ into Google Trends, I can see that the search term has been trending consistently for the last 5 years. That’s brilliant. Google Trends uses a ‘trend’ gauge out of 100. You want your business idea to be consistently in the range between 70-100 across a long period of time.
3. Check how many people are currently paying for your business idea
Next up we want to see how many people are already paying for your business idea. The best way to find this out is to check out who is paying for this service online. There are a number of ways you can do this. For logo design, in particular, I can visit marketplaces Fiverr.com and Freelancer.com. When I visit these sites I can see the most popular services listed are logo design. Perfect. this means that customers are actively demanding and paying for logo makers and logo design. When it comes to finding marketplaces that feature your business idea you will have to spend a moment searching for them. Etsy, eBay and Amazon may feature your product. There are plenty of unique marketplaces online where you can find unique products and services for sale. The task is to find these places and see how popular your business product or service is.
4. Check how many people already have your business ideas
Next up it’s time to see if there are already businesses online with your business idea. This can be done by simply entering your search terms into Google. When I punch the term ‘logo maker’ into Google I can see there is a bunch of businesses already offering logo makers online. Great, this is a good thing. I can also see there are a bunch of ads for logo makers. Another good thing.
At first, you may be shocked to find out your business idea is not totally original. But here’s the thing, your business idea may to totally original. But if there’s no one already doing it, it’s a good sign that there’s little or no demand for it. Competition is a great indicator that the business is in demand. Besides, how many businesses and brands do you use on a daily basis are completely original and brand new? Very few in my case. All of the things I use are the best version of something that’s been around for a while. For example, my Mac laptop is not original. But it’s the best version of a laptop. The key is to create something that is in demand and secondly is the best version you can make.
5. Check how well the competition is doing
Now we know there is competition, it’s time to see how well they are doing. A good way to tell if the competition is doing well is to see how many visitors they are getting to their website. My go-to tool is Similar Web. Similar Web lets me see how many people have visited a website over the last year. When I punch in logo maker competitor Logojoy.com into Similar Web I can see they are doing really well. They have had approximately 2.2 million visits to their site each month and traffic is increasing. Great, I can see that this logo maker business is firstly getting a lot of traffic. And secondly, their traffic is increasing. Further proof that a logo maker is a popular business idea.
Writing down new business ideas is a really fun thing to do. New business ideas can strike you at any time. And that’s a fantastic thing. It’s great to have lots of new and exciting ideas. It keeps the mind active and spirits up. Like James Altucher says you should always be flexing your idea muscle. The important thing is not to get too precious and carried away with your ideas. You must test the demand for your business ideas. Don’t be so stupid as to think just because it’s your idea and that it’s instantly a hit. Before you get carried away and start registering domain names, designing logos and spending cash you must gauge market demand. Put emotion aside. Spend a couple of hours using the methods. You’re better off spending a few hours now than wasting months building something no one wants.
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