Do you know who this guy is? His name is Steve Gadin. You may have seen him on season 2 of Shark Tank where he did his now famous song and dance "I Will Draw A Cat For You."
What's His Business?
The name pretty much says it all: Steve Gadin, hand draws pictures of cats (fat, small, wearing hats, tap-dancing, etc), posts them online, and then sells them to people all over the world.
He came up with this idea just for fun. But what started as a hobby, quickly turned into a real business with real revenues, almost overnight.
Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban invested $25,000 in his silly little cat drawing idea because he saw the potential of simply taking Steve's drawing and selling noval t-shirts and other merchandise to cat lovers world-wide online.
Here's the Quick Take Away:
Even "silly" ideas that you do as a hobby can be turned into a "lifestyle" business online. The key is learning how to validate whether or not it's a profitable idea or not before you put a lot of money behind it.
My simple goal with this quick case study is to illustrate that anyone with a hobby or simple passion can turn it into an income stream online in this digital age.
One of the keys to making sure you increase the odds of your income idea being successful is knowing how to validate it before you spend a lot of time and money on it.
Here's an easy way to validate your business idea in under 20 minutes to see if it's worth pursuing:
- Step 1: Get Specific & Clearly Define What Your Idea is, first: Do not be vegue here. You should be able to communicate your idea in one or two sentences.
I learned this simple technique from Noah Kegan, the founder and CEO of AppSumo.
Noah advicates using PRICE + BENEFIT + TIME to clearly define and share what your idea is. For example:
For $47 I will show you how to set up your ecommerce store on SquareSpace in 24 hours.
- Step 2: Talk to real people: Talk to 3 people — JUST 3! — who might be interested in your idea. You can reach out to this person via email or meet them face-to-face. If you’re not sure who’d be interested, ask ANYONE remotely close to the idea, even if it’s your parents. You’re not aiming for perfection right now, just people.
Send out an email blast to your friends and family and ask if they know anyone who might have the problem your idea solves.
The goal here is NOT to sell your idea but to find out what the specific pain points are around the problem your idea solves. You want to interview real people who have the problem that you want to solve.
This is where you will determine if the problem is pressing enough for people to actually pay for. Listen to how they respond. Pay attention to the words they use to describe their pain.
Remember: You want to ask questions so that you can...
FIND THE PAIN!
- Step 3: Once you find the pain, ask people directly to pay: Here is where the rubber meets the road. By asking people to actually give you money to solve their problem you'll find out quickly if that problem is pressing enough. A business is really nothing more than solving a problem in exchange for money.
It's not good enough for people to just tell you that something is a good idea. Once you find the real pain, tell people you are interested in starting a small business helping people solve that specific problem they are having.
Then say: For $47 I will show you how to set up your ecommerce store on SquareSpace in 24 hours. ARE YOU INTERESTED?
Get a Square Up credit card reader and collect their payment up front. Don't wait until you have a website, or business cards, or all the other stuff you think you need before you can start your business. All of that stuff is secondary to finding the pain people are really interested in you helping them get rid of.
Steve Gadlin realized his simple stick figure cat drawings, in a small way, allowed cat lovers to express their love for cats in a different way. The pain he solded was "How Can I Express My Love For Cats Even More?"
Crazy, I know. Steve is laughing all of the way to the bank.
He went out and told people exactly what he wanted to do for them, and a lot of people responded by sending him real money to draw a cat for them. Sounds silly, and simple, but that's really all you have to focus on in the beginning.
Now it's your turn. What idea(s) can you test to see if other people will pay you for it?
Go out and FIND THE PAIN that your niche wants solved and mold your idea around helping people solve the real problem they care about.
Download Your FREE Copy Of The Sweet Spot Finder Tool, Now!
If you liked this case study and you want more practical information on turning you ideas into incomes online then you must first find your Sweet Spot! Discover where what you love to do, what you are wired to do, and what others will pay you to do collide!