4 Steps To Validate Your Business Idea Before Launching

4 Steps To Validate Your Business Idea Before Launching

Chris-Michael-Harris-Business-Coach

4 Steps To Validate Your Business Idea Before Launching

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

01/14/2021

In today’s episode, let’s talk about how you can validate your business idea before you launch it. And before we start digging into these ideas one by one, make sure that you’ve read the previous post. FYI we designed this topic sequentially to really help you grow your business. There are things that must be done first so that you can catch some things that we’re going to discuss now!


And here are the four steps to test your idea before building a  business. Let’s start.

1. Gather data from the people you interviewed

 In the first part of our series, one of the things that I mention in building your business idea is to interview at least 10 people that are more likely to become your client.  And you’re really just trying to gather what their single biggest problem is.  What we want to do today is we want to actually use data and use the internet to help us to be our best friend, because honestly, there’s plenty of evidence out there for us if we’re just willing to follow the breadcrumbs.

2. Check off is there competition for your market

Whatever your idea entails, one of the things that I want you to do is go find competition, what I would do personally, is I would find maybe five to six people that are in your market that serve particularly who you’re thinking about serving, maybe you have a rough idea of who you want to serve.  In checking for a competitor and inspiration, look for the hints, the clues, and some of the ways in which they have left breadcrumbs for you to follow.

 

3. Use Google Trends

Next, we’re going to use my favorite tool for this exercise, which is Google Trends.  So Google Trends will give you the ability to see actual search volume contingent upon whatever your search query entails.

When you’re using this Google Trends tool, think about the potential seasonality of your business or the potential trends, you want to find consistent stability over time because it’s probably a growing or emerging market, but you may find that it becomes saturated, and you need to niche down a little bit further and find your area where you can really appeal to a broad market, instead of trying to compete with everybody else.

 

4. Do more research on Youtube

 The last thing I would do is I would actually just go through and search things like YouTube. And I would see what are people searching for in my specific industry because that’s going to give you a ton of content ideas, but also is going to show you the actual search volume for your specific business and for your specific industry as far as what people are asking what relevant questions people are seeking.

 

Wrap Up

Now, I hope you have a clear idea of how you can validate your business idea, don’t forget to check the previous video because at the end of this we’re actually going to do an hour and a half long masterclass where I’m gonna give you even more right it’s gonna be the next steps in addition to that you can take to make sure that you get your business off the ground successfully this year.

 

See you guys on the next one!

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Top 5 Mistakes When Starting a Business in 2021 | Avoid These While YOU CAN!

Top 5 Mistakes When Starting a Business in 2021 | Avoid These While YOU CAN!

Chris-Michael-Harris-Business-Coach

Top 5 Mistakes When Starting a Business in 2021

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

01/10/2021

In today’s episode, let’s talk about the top five things to avoid when starting your new business. These are the usual mistakes I’ve seen back from years and even into the future and you can use them in any market. Knowing these mistakes will help you with strategizing what must be done in building your business.

1. Fad Markets

It’s nothing like a fad market, getting into something where it’s this explosion for a couple of years, and then it just kind of dwindles away.  The problem is that if you’re positioned to ride that wave, and you got lucky, but at the end of the day, once you built the infrastructure, and you’ve got a company, you’ve got employees and you make all the investment, you need to really get up and running.  

More than likely that wave has already passed.  And now you’ve got to figure out okay, what do we do now.  And if you are starting out, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

2. Dying Market

 If you’re trying to launch something like a print ad or something that’s just an antiquated modality, you’re probably going to find that it’s on the tail end of a dying market. When thinking of a business to start, check out what’s trending and what product sells the most in this specific market. 

 

3. Unproven Market

So this is a huge mistake that I see people make when they think, there was no competition in that market.  Now the problem is, even if you do have this glamorous brand new idea, the problem is gonna be traction.  So it may be difficult, even if you are the very first person to think of this grandiose idea that you have for a business, it might be very hard for you to get penetration for a variety of different reasons, it also may be hard for you to secure funding if your business requires funding.

 

4. Low Margin Business

Growth requires cash in a low margin business and sacrifice had to be made.  So for low margin, you just have to understand it is what it is if it’s something you’re convicted about.  Just understand that that’s what you’re getting into and know that it’s going to be a little bit of a tougher challenge, you’re going to make sure that you do have other ways to subsidize your income outside of the business, because it may take a very long time for you to be able to pay yourself.

 

5. Low scalability business

Technology is easy to scale, That’s why people love technology concepts, why investors flock to them, and it doesn’t require more manpower to do that, just requires online bandwidth and, you know, a bigger server.

For you, it’s going to be great that you can really scale up without all the overhead and sunk costs and investment and manpower and all the things required to run a company unless you’re just truly convicted by what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

 

 

Bonus: Business that requires large investment

Your startup business will require a large investment to get started.  And one of the bigger challenges is that their idea is great but it will require so much to get off the ground. In today’s day and age, it is harder and harder to get idea stage funding since a lot of people want to see that a business is established. 

So if you have a business that requires a large investment to get started, I think you’re gonna find you’re always going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Hope was helpful, see you on the next one! 

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Achieve Your Goals | Ultimate Business Roadmap [FREE TEMPLATE]

Achieve Your Goals | Ultimate Business Roadmap [FREE TEMPLATE]

Chris-Michael-Harris-Business-Coach

 Ultimate Business Roadmap
[FREE TEMPLATE]

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

01/06/2021

In the previous episode, I talked about how to validate your business ideas and if you haven’t seen that yet and you don’t have an idea what business you should pursue, I highly highly suggest visiting it for a while before we hop into this episode.

But for the rest of you, let’s dig in.

Casting your vision

The problem is a lot of people don’t think about the other aspects of what makes them tick.  They think about the business and their financial goals and stuff like that.   So they make a lot of sacrificial decisions, they don’t take care of themselves, nor their relationships, their personal well being their fitness, their health. 

To start, please grab your own copy of The Business Roadmap and let’s do this  together. 

Five different layers to consider:
1. Faith
2. Family
3. Friends
4. Fitness
5. Finance

All of those things make up and embody the fulfillment that you have the desire and the motivation that you have, it’s important that you’re making sure that you are fulfilled in all those various areas.

For each category I want you to think of your long term goals, let’s start with year 5 and reverse engineer it. Going back to year one, think of the most meaningful, easiest, most viable step you can take right now. Start easy and focus on building that habit so it will be easier for you to reach each goal.  Scale out and of course, now you can continue to do the things you’re doing previously from year to year.

 So these are in order of what I deemed to be priority.  Let’s start filling this out.  (I provided an illustration for you as an example but you don’t have to follow that, you can put whatever you want).

 

Figuring out what’s required

In this part of your worksheet, identify the action steps, what are you going to do on every priority. 

 

Filling in your roadmap

So this is your actual business roadmap, what you’ll do is you’re going to take each one of those from the categories that we mentioned, and you’re going to add them into your one goals, those are your now your year, one, five goals for all those areas of your life.  And then underneath, what you’ll see is challenges and needs that you might encounter along the way.

I add a little stoplights here just as a visual, and I would circle if you’ve met all your goals, and you go back in hindsight, you reflect on those things, as you look over this over the coming years.  

So if you need to expand on these ideas, I absolutely would make it as detailed and as lengthy as you possibly would like it to be.  But definitely make sure you include those in that specific order. I think if you do that, what you’re going to find is that things are going to be much easier than had you not included them to begin.

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5 KEYS To Find Best Business Ideas for 2021

5 KEYS To Find Best Business Ideas for 2021

Chris-Michael-Harris-Business-Coach

5 keys to finding the best business ideas FOR 2021

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

11/23/2020

In this episode, I talk about finding the best business ideas for 2021. Now I’m not talking about hot business trends or quick money schemes. I’m talking about ideas that will generate a sustainable revenue stream which you can scale to a 6 to 7-figure business.

Now, let’s get into it.

1. Find A Problem You Can Relate To

Go through your day and just take note of the problems that you experienced.

Start with scratching your own itch.

What are the problems that you have? What are the big inconveniences that you experience?

Oftentimes, not only is it going to be something that you find traction with but you’re also gonna have a deep passion for it because you’ve experienced that problem.

You really understand the problem to such a degree that maybe other people won’t have that same experience, right?

Stop trying to think of glamorous, world-changing ideas and start thinking about problems in your daily life. Your ideas don’t have to be mind-blowing, they just have to solve a problem.

2. Be specific with your ideas

Focus on a specific problem or niche instead of trying to solve all of the problems in the world.

Like I said, begin my examining your own itch, your own problems and think of ways on how you can solve that.

3. Evaluate the level of utility of your offered solution

Now I know I’m going to sound super contradicting in this next one but the next step of idea validation is to ask yourself whether your solution “solves a $10,000 problem”.

Let me rephrase.

If you were to scale it out, does it solve a $10,000 problem? So there are some things that no matter how many people you reach, there’s just not a lot of utility there.

Our moving company, for example, offers mid-to-high utility.

So people need to move. They have to move and in some cases, they can’t do it themselves. So there’s always going to be a market for that. There’s always gonna be people who are willing to pay for that.

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4. Balance utility with frequency

So social media is a great example, of high frequency.

The average person checks their phone 120 times a day.  Most people are spending 45 minutes, at least on social media every single day.

So the ideal business model is something that is high on utility and is able to attract a large number of people.

Uber, for example, offers both high frequency and high utility. It offers people who live in cities the convenience of booking a car or taxi and removes the stress of parking, etc.

5. Talk to potential customers

Sit  down and have at least 10 conversations in-depth conversations with people that are potential customers for your product or service.

Give them a little bit of a clue as to what you’re going to ask about. Don’t reveal too much to say “I need feedback, I’m working on this new thing”.

Ask them specific questions like, what’s your biggest thing? What’s your single biggest challenge?

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast

starting a podcast

5 things YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE STARTING A PODCAST

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

11/11/2020

So you’re thinking of starting a podcast?

Or you may already have one and are looking for ways to monetize your platform.

To tell you the truth, my online business wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for podcasting.

BUT…

You’ll be shocked to know that it isn’t the cash-making machine that you expect it to be.

In this episode, I share with you 5 things I wish I knew before starting a podcast and how I actually used podcasting to grow my business.

1. Use Podcast To Grow Your Business Not As A Business.

 

The number one thing that I’ve learned throughout my journey is to use a podcast to grow your business not to start a podcast as a business. That is a huge fundamental difference.

I see a lot of people starting a podcast, and think that they’re just going to upload and start getting downloads and getting paid for it.

Truth is.. sponsorship payments only range from $15 to $25 per 1,000 downloads. PER EPISODE.

That’s not going to be enough to pay the bills.

But if you were to use the podcast to promote a business that already exists and use it to sell your products, you might get more money than relying on podcasting sponsorships.

 

 

2. Podcasting is terrible for discoverability but amazing for nurturing an audience. 

I think podcasting is the best networking tool I’ve ever discovered. If you want to meet somebody in your specific space, you can literally reach out and say, “Hey, come on my show, I’d love to interview and learn more about you”.

That’s such an easy ask.

Typically what I do is I find people that I’m not necessarily selling to, but ones that I do want to build a relationship with.

With podcasting, I’m able to build a network of folks that could potentially help me with something down the road, whether that’s investors, people that can be a guest expert on one of my programs, people that could show up in my book club community, or simply connections that I can leverage.

You never truly know when an opportunity is going to arise that require some connections.

Your net worth is only as good as your network, right?

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3. Podcasting is HARD WORK.

I wish I had known the amount of time, effort and energy that goes into podcasting.

It’s easy to listen and be entertained by someone’s show but there’s so many things that happens on the backend before a show is actually published.

Going back and forth my email thread with Daymond John took 250 emails.

That’s a lot of time, I can assure you.

You have to be prepared for the fact that sometimes you’re going to have to make some life changes and be a little bit flexible to accommodate some of your guests needs if you’re planning on a guest platform. 

 

4. Equipment is key. 

One of the things that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about podcasting is the fact that you can conduct a show even when you’re on the road. 

BUT this can easily go downhill if you don’t invest in the right equipment.  

The reason I said that is because when I started out, I just used a cheap microphone. 

Well, the fact of the matter is, it sounded terrible. 

The acoustics were terrible. 

The echo was ridiculous. I ended up having to sit in the closet on the floor just to drown out some of the echo in the room.

If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for a good microphone, I suggest you check out this episode I did on the best budget microphone for podcasting.

5. Podcasting is not a search platform.

Something else I wish I had known is that really you need to take advantage of search platforms.

So podcasting is not a search platform.

What does that mean? That means that when somebody gets onto an app for a podcast player, they’re not searching for specific topics.

It’s really hard to get people to find you, it’s really hard to get them to subscribe unless they already know you or you’re highly recommended by someone.

These are things that I wish I had known beforehand, because what we ended up having to do as a result was use other means to drive the podcast.

So I had to launch a blog, we started using social media to drive people to the podcast. And then CTR is really low from the podcast, so you’re not driving people to your email list. 

I drive more email subscribers from YouTube than what I ever have for my podcast despite the hundreds and thousands of downloads on that show.

So something that that you really have to take note of is that podcasting is great, you can build relationships, but it’s horrible as a discovery tool, and it’s horrible for CTR.

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Think and Grow Rich Takeaways

Think and Grow Rich Takeaways

Think and Grow Rich Takeaway

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

11/11/2020

General Summary: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Your dreams are just wishes unless you have the desire. The desire is what makes you pursue it with the tenacity required to do big things in the world. Big things require big energy without desire. The big energy can not happen. 

Your greatest success will usually happen right after defeat has seemingly overtaken you. 

Every time the defeat seems to be right on the brink, it’s probably when you’re about to turn that corner. As an entrepreneur, that’s very liberating because if things aren’t going too well, maybe you’re at a point where you’re turning the corner, and you’re about to experience success. 

Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition. To do great things, you have to tap into the power of the subconscious mind. Utilize your mind.

The conscious mind has control over the subconscious mind. You have the rational and the emotional brain. Your rational brain is rationalizing things at more of a conscious level.

And you can use the subconscious brain to train the language of the emotional deep-seated subconscious brain with the language of emotion. 

It’s hard to shift things in your subconscious brain because it is really at a deep-seated level. Many people struggle with changing some of their belief patterns because they can’t shift the subconscious brain.

You have more power in that equation than what you realize. It is just a matter of figuring out what modality and what language important that it actually speaks.

The subconscious mind is always working. Every time you scroll your newsfeed, every time you’re exposed to something out in the real world, your subconscious brain is making determinations about what it is going on and how to feel about it. 

So, expose yourself to the things that you want to be exposed to and protect yourself from the things that are toxic for you. You need to constantly be feeding your mind with positive thoughts. 

The practice of mindfulness, meditation, and things of that nature are powerful mechanisms.

What are you doing to promote happiness? What are you doing to promote excitement? 

The subconscious mind is objective. It speaks the language of emotion. Program your mind with the goals that you want. But how? Well, there are five keys to program your mind. 

#1 Definite purpose. Define and decide what is your definite purpose.

#2 Autosuggestion. It’s doing an act to feed a message back to yourself. One way to do it is to affirm yourself every day to reach your ultimate goal. That’s a form of autosuggestion because what you’re doing is you are speaking to your subconscious brain.

And it is scientifically proven that 43%, you are more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. 

#3 Use the power of emotion. Don’t just write down the goal, but think of the emotion that you feel as you’re writing it as imagine as though that’s happening already.

#4 Visualization. Do you visualize yourself experiencing the life that you’re trying to create? A form of meditation is a fantastic way to do that.

We can actually tell now that within just four days of doing 10-15 minutes a day of meditation, your neurological wiring shifts and changes.

#5 Persistence and repetition. It’s just to continue to push down that path and continue to do the things that will lead to that success. And first, figure out what those need to look like. 

Each of us is what we are because of the dominating thoughts occupying our minds. It really goes back to the importance of your subconscious mind. You become what you think you are.

Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

Put yourself over the top by burning your ships.  Put yourself in a situation of urgency, not in desperation

Napoleon Hill talks about in the book that if you’re not all in, it’s not going to happen. It’s the fire to your gasoline that makes things ignite. It does create tremendous windfall and the direction that you’re seeking, just make sure you do so in a responsible way. 

When the survival is at stake, the subconscious mind goes into overdrive. Maybe you’ve experienced that where there is a high emotional state, and the adrenaline rush enabled you to produce an out of the ordinary response.

So can you utilize the mechanics of that in a more controlled environment? 

 

Wishing will not bring you riches, and it must be a burning desire that leads to obsession.

Entrepreneurs succeed because of their obsession to succeed. They are immersed in their industry completely. If you need to get realigned with your purpose, you got to have that obsessive drive. 

Another little exercise for you, five methods of acquiring riches:

1. Fix the exact amount of money you desire. Do you strive to be a millionaire or a billionaire?

2. Determine what you intend to give in exchange for that money. So what are you willing to do to acquire that?

3. Establish a definite date. What is your actual definite date? Be specific.

4. Create a definite plan. It’s one thing to just wish upon a star, but it’s something else entirely to have an actual plan that coincides with that wish. What’s the execution plan, and what’s it going to look like? 

5. Write a clear and concise mission statement with steps 1-4.  And then read your statement aloud twice daily, at least. All those who succeed, pass through many heartbreaking struggles. So part of the failure aspect, but many heartbreaking struggles.

Another powerful lesson in the book is that you are not defeated until it is accepted as a reality. So until you tell yourself, you failed, and it’s over, it’s not over. 

Say fall instead of failure because failure indicates finality while a fall indicates you fell, but it’s implied that the next thing you do is getting up on your feet again.

And it does not require more effort to aim high than accept misery and poverty. So, challenge the logic of failure. 

Impossible when desire is met with enduring faith. Faith is a big part of the equation. It may not necessarily mean a faith in terms of the existential, but whatever that means for you. What are you doing, and why are you doing what you’re doing if it’s not for something bigger than yourself?

Faith can be induced by autosuggestion. If you’re a person that lacks faith, use that autosuggestion to culminate more of that faith in yourself.

All thoughts, emotional ties in mixed with faith begin to materialize in the physical world. In terms of what you believe or what you don’t believe. Everything you want to achieve starts in your mind, and there’s just so much that we don’t know about what we actually do.

The efforts that you create are a big part of what you want to achieve. And you will see how an action will lead you to a situation and to another and so on. 

There are two types of knowledge—general and specialized. What you’ll find is that the most successful people are not focused on generalized knowledge. They’re focused on specialized knowledge.

Napoleon Hill cited that one of the most empowering and impactful things you can do as a business person is the obsessive pursuit of specialized knowledge.

Most great leaders were first intelligent followers. Find a mentor. Most people fail because they wait for the time to be right. YOU create the time to be right. 

There are seven positive emotions—desire, faith, love, sex, enthusiasm, romance, and hope. Now the thing to note is the presence of positive emotions cannot exist simultaneously as negative emotions. 

The major seven negative emotions—fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, superstition, and anger. It’s really important to understand where they arise and present themselves in your life and to do everything you can to rectify those situations. 

The ghost of fears—poverty criticism, ill health, loss of love of someone, old age, or death. These are the things that you operate with that you’re terrified of. The things that linger in the shadows that you’re secretly kind of afraid of.

It’s very important that we deal with these things, whether that’s through counseling or a form of reconciliation, to make sure that they are not the guiding force or factor in your life.

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