Testing out business ideas – handing out cards

There’s a little project that I’m working on at the moment called If I Don’t

It’s a way to help you do things that you say you will by writing a simple statement. I’ve been doing it for a while, and felt that the time had come to let other people have a go.

So I made up a simple web form and printed some business cards with a little message, and a link to the site. Over the course of Friday I gave out around 50 of these cards to people at the office and also left them dotted around in various places throughout the day.

I was testing what the engagement would be with the most minimal exertion, i.e. going up to people and saying “I’m just testing an idea, can I give you this card?”. Would the simple act of giving someone a card be enough for them to go to the site and try out the service?

In short, no.

There weren’t any sign ups within 24 hours of giving out the cards. And slightly frustratingly, I hadn’t installed Google Analytics correctly, meaning I couldn’t get more colour on the bounce rate etc. (I’ve now followed this article on installation, which will hopefully work)

Of course, this could be written prematurely, and a flurry of users might flock to the site, but I imagine this won’t be the case. Perhaps I will try this again once I know Analytics is working, so I can calculate how many went on the site, and what their activity was.

My strategy at the moment is to do minimal effort and see if anything comes of it. This approach has been fine up to now, but I think as soon as you share your idea with other people, the hands-off approach doesn’t work.

They won’t be as enthusiastic as you about what you’re doing, and so you need to take the time and effort to get the answers you want from them – they won’t give you what you’re after without you asking kindly for it. This experience has taught me a little card doesn’t cut it…


The positive outcome is that I now have more of an idea of what to do in my next experiment…