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Testing The Waters

Low-cost test-marketing strategies.

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

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

Bob Black of Jacksonville, Florida, is one example of aninventor who used inexpensive research tactics to do what mostpeople consider impossible: He introduced a product that competeswith Procter & Gamble, Clorox and other major consumer productscompanies. Black's product, the Clean Shower, is a spray mistthat when used daily after showering eliminates the need to cleanyour shower.

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