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5 Ways to Validate a Business Idea, Right Now

Don't let your day job or lack of capital stop you from finding and testing a business idea. Here's how.
Last year, I embarked upon a personal challenge to validate a business idea in 30 days. To make it even more difficult, it was a random idea chosen by my readers. They asked me to do it without using my existing website, traffic and business connections and without spending more than 20 hours per week on the project. On top of that, I limited myself to spending no more than $500 validating this idea. The experiment was a success.In just two weeks, I built an email list of 565 subscribers without having an actual website. Then, I reached out to a handful of those subscribers and pre-sold 12 copies of a book that didn't even exist yet, all in less than 30 days. I wrote about the experiment in real-time with in-depth weekly updates, successes, failures and lessons learned along the way, right here in my validation challenge. Today, I want to share with you the five most effect…

Paper bags in demand

Manufacturers say they started getting a lot of calls after the ban on plastic bags became official

The ban on plastic in the State has turned out to be a boon for manufacturers of paper bags. They have reported a spurt in interest with retailers, hotels and restaurants dominating the enquiries. Paper bags are being seen as the obvious replacement for plastic carry bags.

Kala Charlu, founder of Multiple Initiatives Towards Upliftment (MITU), said they had been receiving a ‘lot of enquiries’ of late, mostly through references. “The demand is from shops and hotels. In fact, a big retail shop has asked for 4,000 bags at one go. We are seeing demand from areas such as Koramangala, Whitefield and Bellandur. They are even ready to come and collect the bags when we informed that we may have to charge for delivery,” she said.

Made with old newspapers by people in Nelamangala, Chikkabanavara and other places, these bags are priced between 70 paise and Rs. 6 per piece. “We use two layers of newspapers. But if the customer insists, we add an additional brown paper in the end to give it a uniform look and allow them to print whatever they want to,” Ms. Charlu added.
Things are looking up for mass manufacturers too. Bharath V. R., owner of Bag Factor, an automated bag manufacturer, said apparel and shoe companies had begun calling ever since the ban was made official. “We have the capacity to prepare 20 lakh bags a month. But we are running far under capacity as of now, making just around five lakh. Only big retailers are willing to purchase the bags, which cost between Rs. 7.50 and Rs. 12 per piece, depending on paper quality,” he said. Kondaiah Chowdary’s Creative Print Pack, a Hyderabad-based company, caters mainly to Bengaluru. He is getting a lot of calls from hotels and restaurants for paper bags for takeaways. Their main clientele otherwise comprises retailers of mobile phones, optical equipment and apparel shops.

However, scrap dealers are yet to witness an increase in demand for old newspapers. "The ban order is all too new," said Vijay Kumar, a dealer in V.V. Puram. At present, they buy old newspapers for anywhere between Rs. 9 and Rs. 11 per kg. Old cardboard boxes and material are bought for Rs. 7.

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