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Testing The Waters

Low-cost test-marketing strategies.

This story appears in the February 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

I am convinced that more than 90 percent of all Americans have at least one idea for a new product. Two of the major reasons you don't pursue your ideas are: 1. You don't think the market will accept a new product; and 2. You don't know how to find out if your idea has merit. But every market has room for innovative new products. More good news: There are ways to research your ideas without spending a lot of money.

Bob Black of Jacksonville, Florida, is one example of an inventor who used inexpensive research tactics to do what most people consider impossible: He introduced a product that competes with Procter & Gamble, Clorox and other major consumer products companies. Black's product, the Clean Shower, is a spray mist that when used daily after showering eliminates the need to clean your shower.

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