The first step is to ensure your beacon is "on" and broadcasting. If you have a RadBeacon Dot, click the button once, as described here. If you have a USB beacon, simply plug it into a USB power source. If you have a X4, plug in 4 AA batteries.
Once the beacon is broadcasting, grab an Android device (mobile phone preferably), go to settings > Google > Nearby. Once in Nearby, you should see the notification message you had set for the beacon. If you do, the notification was successfully created. If you do not see it immediately, give it a few minutes and check back a couple of times.