6 Best Sites for Unbiased Feedback on Your Business Idea
Validate your business idea with unbiased feedback today.
So, you're sure you are onto a winning business idea, but you want some unbiased feedback.
You have a great product that'll revolutionize an industry, and you're confident that it'll make you a fortune in the process. Your family and friends tell you how brilliant your concept is and how successful it's going to be...
It's easy to get excited about a new business idea, but let's pump the brakes and slow down a bit.
The reality is that about 9/10 businesses fail, and the majority of them crash & burn very early on in their lives. The Small Business Administration figures surmise that at least half of all small businesses started in the US do not make it more than five years.
That's why I'm a huge advocate of fully testing out the validity of your business idea, before you begin investing your time, financial resources, and most definitely before you quit your day job.
In fact, I've had the opportunity to learn for myself exactly how to lose $6,537 and create a product nobody wants because I failed to seek enough unbiased feedback on my first business.
I learned the hard way that you cannot just rely on the enthusiastic support of your friends when making business decisions.
Where can you go for more neutral, less biased, advice on your ideas?
These are the 6 sites I personally go to, when I want unbiased feedback on my new business ideas. I have to warn you though, don't go into this process with thin skin. You're likely to get some less-than-flattering comments (which will be a good thing).
It's vital that you acknowledge any criticism of your business idea that that people may direct toward you, and don't take it personally. If the criticism appears valid, accept it and make the decision to either improve your product or service or move onto another business idea entirely. Be relieved that you've been spared a potentially expensive learning experience.
Reddit is a great place to hold an online discussion about virtually any topic imaginable. Redditors vote on which stories and discussions are important, and the stories that are the hottest rise to the top, while other stories sink.
It's relatively easy to start a thread in Reddit, and you can certainly get some good unbiased feedback on your ideas. As there are quite a few sections, make sure you create your discussion in an appropriate area. I recommend the Small Business or Entrepreneur sections. The sub forum, SideProject, targets the sharing and receiving of constructive feedback on side projects and start-ups.
For this to be of much value to you, you need to phrase your “story” (potential business idea) in such a way that it piques the interest of Reddit's users.
GrowthHackers is a community that aims to teach about and share ethical online marketing techniques, driving effective, scalable, and sustainable growth. The focus here is skewed more toward marketing-related products and technology startups, but it's an incredible forum for getting feedback and ideas on how to go about acquiring your first customers for your business.
It's a place for marketers to share and discuss what matters to them, in terms of driving sustainable customer acquisition growth. Among the topics of discussion is feedback.
3. Startups.co and Clarity.
Startups.co is a startup launch platform designed to help new businesses find customers, funding, press, and mentors. They have quite a few sections that assist new businesses in creating websites (Launchrock), providing access to crowdfunding (Fundable), business plans (Bizplan), and connecting entrepreneurs with mentors (Clarity).
Clarity is a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with top advisors and industry experts. The experts help new entrepreneurs to conduct market research, get strategic business advice and even learn specialized skills that can help them grow their business. Clarity includes a Question and Answers section where members can get assistance for their queries. There are over 30,000+ verified experts from the top cities around the world, including yours truly.
If your niche is in marketing or you're seeking advice on bringing in your early customer base, you have a forum specifically targeted to you with Inbound. Inbound describes itself as “an online hub where good Marketers come to get better." They have over 100,000 members in the community that'll definitely help you validate your business idea in the marketing or content space.
Inbound is all about sharing, so it would be a good idea to begin by contributing to other peoples’ conversations before you post your own requests for idea validation. However, once you are seen as a real, valuable member of the community, you are likely to gain invaluable feedback, from some very experienced and knowledgeable marketers.
5. Concept Feedback.
If your idea includes creating a website, Concept Feedback is an excellent way to have your website’s effectiveness evaluated. You can post your website for other Concept Feedback members to comment on and provide feedback on such areas as design, usability, and strategy.
The feature that I believe is most important for a new website is that you quickly and clearly state the problem your product or service is solving, how you're doing it, and who the business is designed to help. Many of the commenters discuss how your site meets (or falls short on) these goals.
PickFu is an online tool that you can set up to receive instant, unbiased, and insightful public opinion about any question you pose. One of my recommended uses of this tool is for entrepreneurs to validate business ideas while they're still in their infancy. There is however a fee to use Pickfu. It'll run you $20 for around 50 poll responses.
As these respondents are chosen and paid by Pickfu, they may not necessarily match your targeted customer base. They are neutral, however, and most genuinely want to help.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of seeking unbiased feedback on your business ideas before spending your extremely valuable time on the creation phase. A wrong assumption could turn out to be costly and possibly fatal.
Be conscious of how much detail you pitch within your requests for feedback. The last thing you want to see is a copycat version of your business appear before your own business is underway. However, there is a clear difference between pitching general concepts and ideas, versus posting intimate details that others could easily replicate.