I have recently been testing out various business opportunities and I'm going to start keeping track of my activities each week.
This week I tested out 2 concepts, the first is an eCommerce website called Cocktail Rings Online (www.cocktailringsonline.com) and the second is a consulting firm that specializes in helping companies implement and customize their Salesforce.com CRM application.
Cocktail Rings Online: I created a bare bones eCommerce site and added about 25 rings to it using the bigcommerce.com shopping cart application (if you haven't used Big Commerce before I recommend it, they've been quite helpful in starting this website and the software is easy to use). I tried this concept because these cocktail rings are the best sellers in my wife's Etsy shop (lushboutique.etsy.com) and I thought it'd be interesting to see how a website would do that just sold these cocktail rings.
So after I got the website ready (not pretty, just functional) I started testing some online marketing with Adwords and Facebook Ads. For Adwords I created a text ad that featured "Cocktail Rings" and said something cheesy about "adding some sparkle to your finger" (that wording was all my wife's doing). Anyway I chose keywords for Cocktail Rings, Gemstone Rings, Sterling-silver rings and other. I set my daily budget at $20 and turned it loose. Over the week I received about 60 clicks, the best performing keyword by far was simply "Cocktail Rings", nothing else even came close. This campaign ended up costing me about $95.00, I got 60 clicks, but the only customer action I received was one lady emailing me to ask if we can re-size our rings (which we cannot do at this point).
For the Facebook Ads I ended up spending about $75 and got 100 clicks.
So at the end of the day, I spent close to $200 on this idea and got skunked, no paying customers. I'll have to try and either change something for next week or try something new completely.
For the Second business idea, I created a website using Weebly called www.salesforcerockstars.com. The website basically is a landing page that says "We're experts in helping you implement/customize Salesforce.com, and we'll help you." Then I included a contact form that anyone who's interested can use to contact me. The concept is quite simple and I just wanted to see if I could get some good qualified leads.
I used Adwords keywords for "Salesforce.com Consultant", "Salesforce.com implementation", and others. To my surprise, these keywords were quite popular, leading to a bunch of clicks, each of which I had to pay for :(. However after dumping about $180 bucks down that hole, I had some good traffic, but no qualified leads.
For now I've shut down all my marketing efforts (I've gotta pay rent next month) and I need to look at what happened and why these tests failed. My initial impression is that the Salesforce Rockstars ads were probably too broad so I'll need to figure out a way to target them more effectively. And with the cocktail rings website... well, I could use any advice on that one, even if that advice is "that was a dumb move, I could've told you that'd flop".