How to Start and Validate A Business (30 Day Business Challenge)

January 8th, 2017

Last year a guy on my team asked me how do you start a business? It was a fairly broad question and my first response was… You just start! But it is an interesting question and to answer it for you I am going to start a business today and see if it will gain any traction in the next 30 days.

Here is what I am committing to… 30 days, $500 investment and I will only be working on it about 1-2 hours per day. The goal is to get 5 customers and see if the advertising to sales ratio is a winner.

The Business Idea

In November I updated a friends painting website. He is a contractor so I added a booking utility that allows his site visitors to book estimates online. Since we added it, he has had 11 people book estimates via the site.

Its simple, the pick a day/time and then it adds the appointment to his calendar and emails both parties, reminders, etc. It’s a sweet little tool from a third party that is quick and easy to setup.

So my 30 Business is simple. I will add this same tool to websites for $99. Actually the price point is not set but I’m going to begin at $99 and assess the results.

Since I am a developer I created a landing page for the product with all the details of how it works. I added a 3 minute Youtube video as well. To setup the landing page with the video I put in about 4 hours of work. Click the image below to see the landing page I built.


How to start an online business in 30 days

A special thanks to Ryan Robinson @ https://www.ryrob.com/validate-business-idea/ Two days after I started this Ryan randomly followed me on Twitter. I clicked on his page and saw he was blogging about the same thing I was doing. So that inspired me to post about my progress on my 30-Day challenge.

I’ve started a lot of businesses and there is no set formula. I do know that I will make mistakes and learn things along the way.  My initial plan is to run Facebook ads to anyone who listed their occupation as a painter or home decorator. I am running $20 per day.  I’ll update this post in a few days with my progress

I’m happy you are reading this and I hope it inspires you to take action towards your ideas. Please share, follow, comment and reach out to me if you need any help or inspiration!

UPDATE #1

January 13th 2017

As I mentioned above I would make mistakes and it happened two days in.

To start I decided to run Facebook Ads. I created an initial test group for anyone with in the USA with a job title of either Painters (house) or Decorators. Since this was the initial test I decide to run the ads for 5 days at $20 per day and see what the results were.

It took about 2 hours to setup the Ad’s but that was over the entire day because Facebook kept rejecting my Ad. They were rejecting it because the URL I entered was missing the .com portion of the URL. I finally discovered the error and after a quick change my ad’s were running.

And that is where the mistake happened… Apparently the .com didn’t save and my ad’s ran for a day and a half with a bad URL. When I checked Google Analytics mid-day I had zero clicks. So I had to contact their support and get a credit for that.   But I was out a 1.5 days of seeing the results.

Here is the data on the ads

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 1.33.42 AM

The bad news is that out of the 307 clicks I got ZERO sales. I started the price at $99 and then moved it down to $29.99 after 150 clicks.

More of the Same Produces More of the Same!

Since the FB ads produced no sales I turned them of and decided to take a new approach. And that approach is email. The truth is that same day I started the ads I found a site that sells emails of painters. So on a whim I bought a list of 5000 for $79.99.

And when I say whim I literally mean a whim… I started thinking after the fact about the quality of the list and that I may have dove in too fast on that one. One of my better qualities is that I make decisions fast and stick to them.

I am going to begin sending emails over the next 4 to 5 days in groups of 200. I will vary the subjects, content, links, etc. to see what get higher opens and clicks. While that is running I am also creating six emails that will send as an auto responder. I will start running the auto responder campaign next week.

To recap: $187.70 spent of $500, Zero sales

Contact Me!

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is the , Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!