Go all in or test market first?

Should I invest 100,000 + in new business to make it look good and be professionally acceptable, or should I invest the minimum just to test the market but then I may get hit by bad reviews for my service. The Service I intend to offer is laser hair removal


I agree with the answer above on test first. Also, David's advice to have a business strategy is key.

I'd start from user needs. Do people need (ok, want) this service in the area you might provide it? As a woman and a cosmetics designer, I can attest that most women want this service, but you need to check the following: Is the climate warm enough to sustain your business though the year? If not, what do you do in winter/off time? Think about diversifying your offer. Since this is a localized service, how about HHI (household income) in your town/city? For those within a middle income bracket, this kind of procedure is a luxury service.

Finally, if you're to really stand out among competitors, user experience should be your primary concern. For something as personal as laser hair removal, you will build your business on referrals (personal and digital via review sites like Yelp). Make sure every visit is impeccable. If you'd like to talk more, I'd be happy to dig in with you on crafting the ideal experience.

Answered 6 years ago

Can't you find a way to partner with qualified clinics who have capacity, and then market to clients who would want to pay for one? After all, even if you go all in, you're in the business of selling/marketing the products, not servicing the products. You may as well test that first before you commit further (buying out businesses, increasing capacities, etc.).

Answered 6 years ago

Test the market not for the quality of service you intend to offer, but to gauge the demand for your service. You need to have a customer, in first hand, to be able to survive and grow. One mistake may make your investment transform into expense, followed with becoming a liability.

Answered 6 years ago

Only go all if if you need to. (And chances are... you don't need to.)

I will say - from personal experience in offline service based businesses - you might be surprised at how little you need to invest to look "professionally acceptable".

This of course depends on your market and their expectations... However you might find that what YOU think is important to "look good" isn't important to them.

Remember that it's all about them. They don't know (or care) how much you invest in your business. They don't even care if you make any money. They care about what's important to THEM.

My advice is to have a plan (aka business strategy). In business you aren't investing if you have no plan... you are speculating - And that means you will be taking on much more risk than you need to.

And by the way... if you are providing amazing service then the reviews will be good ones.

Let me know if I can be of assistance. In any case I wish you the best of luck!

Answered 6 years ago

In his book 'The Lean Start-up', Eric Reis talks about the concept of 'minimum viable product'. Launching with the minimum viable product, can be a good way to test the market for a product without investing lots of money. However - to your point - you need to be careful, especially in a service business. Even your basic offering still can't turn off customers. My suggestion is you find other ways to figure out if there's market for your service. For lots less than $100,000 you could even engage someone to do the market research for you.

Answered 6 years ago

Based on my past experience as a market strategist, I believe even for the best of services, understanding your market is important, no matter how much fund you have. From your question, it seems you are that sure of your service quality and if that's the case, things might not go the way are expecting. So, as a statistician, I suggest you to test the market (small sample) and for that you need a specialist market research firm. You can try Market Quotient ( who would not only suggest the current market demand and future expectations but also offer you go-to-market strategy in terms of business and marketing plan.
With a proper understanding. I am sure you can go a long way and achieve what you want to. Good luck.
Happy to help always.

Answered 6 years ago

Test the waters first.

Incidentally, I happen to own If you like that domain / brand for a laser hair removal service, then you can lease it month-to-month with the option to buy later if the business takes off.

Answered 6 years ago

Test the market for sure. I've been at companies that went all in, pivoted several times and kept releasing new products -- none of them got any traction at all. They then said products 1 and 2 were to test the market and prove it so that product 3 would succeed. I think this is one of the stages of grief right? Bargaining?

I don't know anything about laser hair removal, but I'm going to assume you can find some people to survey or provide samples? of some sort? Consultation in exchange for opinions? Either way, if you have the ability to test and research something - do it. Could save you a lot of headaches no matter what you're getting into.

Answered 6 years ago

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