Test your startup idea before you build it

You could spend $20k, $50k or even $100,000 developing the first version of your startup. Use our Smoke Test Toolkit to gain valuable insights before you build, so that you build the right product.

Save time and thousands of $$$

Even billion dollar startup ideas like Airbnb needed to be tested. Why? Well, startup ideas are simply assumptions. If you spend all of your money and months of time developing a startup only to find out that your assumption was wrong you're in a very bad place.

The Launch Lab smoke test toolkit contains everything you need to get the validation signals you need to decide whether the market wants what you are planning to build.

The toolkit helps you get your test up in 48 hours so that you can start testing your assumption almost immediately.

A toolkit to test your startup ideas

Here's what you get in the Smoke Test Toolkit:

Smoke test website

This is more than a landing page or a 'coming soon' page. You get a micro website that looks like a real site. We want the user to think the product actually exists. We want to find out how many people will click the 'buy now' or 'get started' button. The micro website includes a home page, a pricing page and a lead capture page.

Funnel Analytics

You get analytics showing the number of visits to your site, the number of people who clicked the call-to-action button and the number of people who registered their interest. These funnels start to paint a picture of buyer intent. Knowing conversion rates at this early stage will give you a good indication of how interested people are in purchasing what you paln to sell.

Recorded User Sessions

Analytics paint a great picture but you also get 100 video playbacks of users using your website. These are actual videos of users using your website. It's like watching over their shoulders while they use your website. The videos will help you understand what features people are most interested in and where non-converters drop off.

Startup Consulting

Launch Lab develops web applications and mobile apps for non-technical startup founders. We also offer startup consulting and advice on how to set up your smoke test website and what to focus on. The toolkit includes 1 hour of consulting time to guide you from your initial assumption to taking the first steps in your startup journey.

Traffic

Like any website, a smoke test needs traffic. You'll need to spend time trying to generate traffic from free sources, but we'll also help you decide which paid channel to use and we'll set the campaign up for you. We usually use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to drive traffic. We recommend you budget an additional $200 - $300 to spend on the advertising costs. The setup of an advert is included in the $1,997

Hosting

We'll host the microsite for up to 12 months for you if needs be, but ideally your smoke test should be run as quickly as possible to help you determine if your assumptions are correct or not. We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) and with the microsite being static we host out of S3 buckets. The only thing you will need is a domain name.

What is a startup smoke test?

A startup smoke test helps you to test a product idea before you build it. By driving traffic to a website, and making the user think that the product actually exists, the smoke test is designed to determine conversion rates and buyer intent.


A smoke test example:

Imagine you want to build a startup that generates exercise programs for people based on their DNA. Your assumption is that fitness fanatics will jump at the opportunity to get a more scientific exercise program. But, will they pay the high price associated with the DNA test and the resulting exercise program?

Our smoke test will help us get better insights. We create the microsite in a way that it looks like the product is real. The website displays a price and a 'buy now' button. When clicking the 'buy now' button users are shown a message informing them that you are not quite ready to accept orders but if they leave their email address you'll let them know when they can purchase the product. You might also want to offer them a discount for leaving their email address.

We can target a specific market and drive traffic to the website. Our funnel analytics will show the number of visits to the site, the number of people who clicked 'buy' and the number of people who left their email address. Conversion rates will go a long way to determining if the market wants this product.

Plus, you can start to determine the cost to acquire a user. For example, lets say you spent $200 on Facebook adverts and you get 200 clicks to the website from this campaign. 10 people clicked 'buy now'. If these people followed through with their purchase and assuming your profit margin on each sale is $40 then things are looking good.

You are now getting signals to prove your initial assumptions.

FAQs

You get:
  • Smoke test website: we use a pre-designed and pre-developed template for the test. Images, logo, fonts, colours and all text can be changed
  • 12 months of hosting
  • Setup of funnel analytics using an industry leading analytics tool
  • Setup of recorded user sessions. We use the free tier of a 3rd party product for this. The free tier is limited to 100 videos per month.
  • Google Adwords or Facebooks ads campaign setup
  • Setup of email capture form: we use either Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp forms. All of the captured email addresses will be available in one of these products
  • 1 hour of startup consulting with Launch Lab
This doesn't necessarily mean your idea is bad. It just means you'll need to do more research before building the actual product. If the results of your test are poor the best thing you can do is go out and have real conversations with your target audience (this is something you should be doing anyway, even with a smoke test).
You've taken a great first step and the positive signals might give you the push to invest in building your product. Success will be determined by the quality of the finished product, the service you provide, the cost of the product, the number of competitors in market or enterring the market. There are other factors too like timing, luck, your ability to perserve etc. Your success is up to you and the smoke test helps you start on the right path.
The test only works with a decent amount of traffic. We'll help you setup a Google Adwords or Facebook Ad for you, but you will need to be pro-active in this regard and make all efforts to get traffic to the site. Your efforts will center around getting traffic from 'free' sources. We'll give you some advice on how to do this.
You certainly can and Launch Lab can help with that. Running the smoke test reduces your risk and provides insights that will help you when you launch. However, if you feel you have enough success signals already, and have validated your idea, and want to push forward with development of the full product you certainly can.
No. We also recommend you speak to people in your target market. Determine if they have a problem that your product solves. If they do, how do they currently solve that problem. Determine if it is a big problem and if there are other solutions on the market. It's ok if there are. Just be aware of them.
This can happen where the product idea just isn't suitable for either of these channels. If this is the case we'll reduce the smoke test toolkit price, so that it excludes the ad component, and you'll need to determine other traffic sources (we can offer some advice in this regard).
The following items are not included in the $1,997:
  • Domain name: You will need your own domain name. If you don't have one we'll tell you where to get one.
  • Copywriting: We can write the copy for your smoke test website for an additional $499 + GST if required. You are welcome to provide your own copy, but please understand the importance of this. It needs to be convincing and of a high quality.
  • GST: Please add 10% to the $1,997 for GST
  • Layout or design changes to the smoke test website template. Using our template we'll change images, fonts, colours, logo and text within the price - you are welcome to request design and layout changes but these will cost extra).
  • Images: the cost of purchasing images for the website is not included. We will try to source images from free stock image websites for your smoke test. However, if we need to purchase images these will be for your account (usually cost approx. $45 per image).
  • Advertising: The setup of a Google Adwords or Facebook Ad is included however the actual advertising cost is not. We recommend that you budget approx $200 - $300 for this. You can spend more if you want additional traffic or you want to test additional channels.
  • Facebook Business Page: If using Facebook Ads you will need a Facebook Business Page. The creation of the page is not included, however it will only take you 10 minutes to setup.
  • Logo: Your site will need a logo. If you don't have one we can help but this would be an additional cost.
A/B testing isn't included in the $1,997 but we can assist with this, and provide a cost, if you would like to run an A/B test.
Possibly, but the way we have designed our smoke test toolkit means it isn't going to work for every startup idea. Complete the form at the bottom of the screen and we'll contact you to discuss your idea. We'll tell you whether the smoke test is suitable for your idea or not.
50% deposit. 50% when the test starts.
We are web application developers in Sydney and Canberra. We develop startups for non-technical founders. We also advise on startup strategy and startup growth.
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ONLY $1,997

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