The 4-Hour Workweek: Chapter Summary (Chapter 10: Income Autopilot II)
Predictably, Chapter 10 picks up where Chapter 9 left off. So far, we’ve found a niche market and brainstormed a product. Now it’s time to test whether anyone’s interested in buying it. That means that the next step for setting up your own automated business is to
3. “Micro-Test Your Products.”
Notice that “products” is plural and not singular. Ferriss rightly warns us of the failures of much larger companies because they neglected to test whether anyone was really interested in their brainstorm of an idea. To ensure that we don’t go the same route, he gives us three basic steps, which he calls “Best, Test, and Divest or Invest.” They are, in order:
· Create a better offer than the competition, and set up a small website (1-3 pages) to advertise it;
· Use Google Adwords to test interest;
· Either cut your losses and start again, or roll the product(s) out.
The time estimate for all of this is no more than one week, with most of it (five days) being dedicated to observation.
The next several pages of the chapter follow two case studies, Sherwood and Johanna, as they implement these ideas. Here is what they did:
· Step 1 – Find out the basic manufacturing or wholesale costs for each item or idea.
· Step 2 – Compare their own product to what the competition was offering and then try to figure out what they could offer that was better or unique.
· Step 3 – Create a 1-page website of about 300-600 words based on testimonials, stock photos, and sample advertisements that caught their attention over the previous two weeks, preferably inducing them to buy.
· Step 4 – Test the ad. Sherwood used eBay for this step; Johanna opted out because she felt that she was deceiving people and preferred not to.
· Step 5 – Register domain names for each site.
· Step 6 – Set up the website. This was done with weebly.com to set up the web page and wufoo.com for form building.
· Step 7 – Set up and run a simple Google Adwords campaign for each site. Ferriss recommends visiting www.adwords/google.com/onlinebusiness at this point and learning the ropes by creating an account. Sherwood and Johanna used this process to both test ads and drive traffic to their sites. Both used various tools and techniques such as Google's free analytical tools and e-mail sign-ups to track their sites’ effectiveness. Both also designed ads that focused on their unique selling points (differentiators—i.e., what differentiates them from the competition).
Once each person determined that the test phase was a sufficient success, it was time to set up shop. Johanna had a successful first test run, so she decided to set up a Yahoo store. Sherwood needed to rework and retest his ad for a potentially better result and then chose to run it in an arts magazine under a different name with an added guarantee. Both did well, which brings us to the next issue: how to automate the business so that it can run without you.
Before proceeding to the Comfort Challenge, Tools and Tricks, and LD in Action sections (there is no Questions and Actions section, since this was an action-oriented chapter), Ferriss revisits his friend Doug Price to see how he did it, with the same conclusion: from niche market selection based on his own habits to brainstorming, testing, roll-out, and automation, the process was the same except for the small individual differences. This chapter’s Tools section gives you everything you need to set up your business and test the ads. The Comfort Challenge dares you to reject first offers, and the Lifestyle Design examples give you valuable added tips from the field.