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5 Ways to Know If Your Business Idea Is Brilliant or a Bust No matter how great the concept, you need real-world feedback to see if your startup will fly. Here's how to get it.

By Paula Andruss

This story appears in the April 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Open to criticism: Bestimators’ Matt Fineberg.

Fifteen years in the home-improvement business taught Matt Fineberg that no one pulls the trigger on a big-ticket project—such as a new roof or windows—without first getting a handful of estimates.

When he began building his Philadelphia-based estimate marketplace, Bestimators, in 2013, Fineberg thought he knew what his potential customers needed, and how to deliver it. "I heard "I need to get a few more estimates' daily for the better part of a decade, so I hired a contractor to build out a product to help homeowners do just that," he says.

A former design-build "aquascaper" (a landscaper with a focus on water features) who charged a consultation fee for his services, he assumed his new business would work on the same model. But feedback from homeowners showed him otherwise.

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