Whether buying a car from a car dealership or from a person who owned it before, it’s a common thing when shopping for the car to test whether it is working properly or if we like it, before we make any purchase. Even for other products that we regularly buy, especially for the first time; most of the time we try them first to see if we like them, or if they fit us, or they are what we want, or they are valuable to us, and so on.
I am that kind of person who would go to book shops and spend at least half-an-hour going through books that caught my eyes. You can’t judge the book by its cover. So, I always go through the snippets of each chapter if I can before I purchase the book. And even if I will buy the book online, I will still do the same; and I will look for other people reviews about the book.
Let’s say you have a budget that can afford you to buy one to two books a month. Among a thousand of good books that are released each year out there, it means that you are supposed to select only twelve or twenty four of them. In order to make sure it’s worth the purchase and you select something that you are definitely going to read and not just for display on the bookshelf, it’s wise if you review the book first…right?
Well, it’s the same thing for people who are doing business especially when they are trying something new. It could be a new product, or service.
One thing some of these businesses do is that in the beginning of their new services or products launch, they will offer free trial services or free products samples to test and see the response from the market, and whether the customers like them.
We have seen these before as consumers, clients, or customers in several businesses we have encounter already; for instance, some businesses will allow us to get free trial service for one month and after that if we want to continue we have to pay certain fees. Some businesses will give us free small samples of their products so that in case we like them then we can purchase these products in big sizes.
Most businesses believe giving free product samples will boost future sales of the actual products. But it is also through these free product samples and free trial services these businesses can test the market and future sales of the actual products and services, and also if there is a need to upgrade them. The upgrade can be to increase it’s quality, or modify it to user-friendly, and so on.
Businesses also want to know if these products or services that they are giving away for free are of high value and interesting to customers, users, or clients, in return they expect that when these customers are satisfied, they will tell more other customers about their products or services. But they also look at it as another way of promoting their products and services in a different way. It’s good to get feedback from future and potential customers, and there is always a need to prepare the market for these products or services ahead of time.
Now, for those of us who have a pile of ideas buried somewhere in our notebooks, when it comes to pursuing our ideas in a nutshell, we can also use this same approach. We can test our ideas in very small ways to see and measure the demand for them before we decide to tackle them in a bigger way.
Some of our ideas could have turned to really good ideas if we could have only made decisions to pursue them, but instead we let them go. Perhaps they looked so big to make them reality, therefore we got scared and never really initiate to pursuing them. I guess you can say our fears made them disappear.
There is saying that says, “Yard by yard, life is hard, inch by inch, life is a cinch.” One way that can help us to pursuing our ideas we have to come into reality is that we can take that idea that looks really big idea to us and test it if it works before we can finally determine whether we should go after it or not. There is no need to spend so many years, or thousands of dollars into this really big business idea, product, or service before you have actually tested it and gotten some feedback from the market or people to see if they will pay for it in exchange for the service or product.
To save ourselves all the hustles and disappointments that we may be afraid of, we can decide to take that business idea and find out the simplest or smallest possible way to get it to the market and taste it and see if there are some people out there who will find it useful and valuable to pay for it. You don’t want to supply where there is no demand.
The safest thing you can do when starting a business is to test the market first. They say, “You will never know if it’s going to work, if you won’t try it,” therefore another way to try is to test it first. It will save you a lot of stress, time, money, and other resources.
For example; if you are a new author and writer, when it comes to publishing your first book in print you may not have other options other than self-publishing. Let’s face it; self-publishing is not cheap. And if you only love to write but hate to sell, self-publishing is even more expensive. Thank God for social media nowadays, within a click, we can market anything we want. So, another way to test the market for your book is to publish an e-book. It will cost you less, but again your other aim is to test if there are people out there who will want to pay for that book. Then when you get enough feedback, you can decide to publish in print.
I am a huge fun of free product samples and free trial services. Honestly, I think it’s the clever thing that businesses have come up with. For some products out there as customers, there is a need to test them before we can purchase them. But as an entrepreneur, I don’t see the need to produce and stock more products, without testing the market first.
Please leave your comments and join the discussion.