How Best to Validate Your Business Idea
“A good exercise for any entrepreneur is to validate your idea before getting started.” – Matt Bell
Validating your business idea is a very important step to take while starting up to avoid wasting your time and resources on a product/service that will end up becoming useless with little or no interest from your prospects.
I will share with you how best to validate your business idea before launching full time. I will be be brief and straight to the point.
To validate your business idea, this information is vital;
Is that Idea Solving a Problem?
First, it is important you know what problem your idea is going to solve and how best this could be done. It is also worthy to note that entrepreneurship is about problem solving and any individual whose idea put into a product/service is helping to ease the way others do things, then such a one is an entrepreneur and such idea will be sustainable and bankable.
So the first step is to identify the problem you are solving and the market in need of your solution.
Check if your idea is already out there.
Sometimes, some new idea pops into our head and we are all excited on the potential such an idea has and we swing into action to develop such idea without first asking questions and ascertaining if someone has a similar product or has tried it out and failed and if it’s the latter, why did s/he fail and what or how can you do it better. So first check if the idea has been previously conceived and developed and why it worked or didn’t.
Try to talk to some experts within that niche.
No matter what idea you have now, someone somewhere might have done something similar. The more information you gather towards development of your idea, the better. Another entrepreneur might have a similar service or product but not executed the same way as you might wish yours to be, talk to such guys and get hints on the easiest method they applied to succeed. Also ask for their opinion and suggestions towards your prospective venture.
It is important you do a little NEED survey on your idea.
Your idea might sound so great but not useful to your target audience. Either there is a product/service out there that is better or an upgraded version of your idea and your prospective clients already moved to those. So make sure you talk to some prospects about your product to ascertain if they will truly need it. You could do this by first developing prototypes and putting it out there and inviting them to try it out. Remember, this largely depends on your niche. If they used it and enjoyed it, you can go on with it but if not, you should have a rethink.
It is important at this stage to allow your critics or strangers instead of your loved ones to try the product. You know why.
It is important you secure your idea so it is not stolen from you by some big giants in your industry. This step I feel should even come before your idea is out there. Register your idea and protect it from being reproduced by others. As a small starter, you might not really have all the funds to start big but when your idea is protected and these big guys are aware, they can only come to your either as partners or to invest in the idea.
Until people are ready to part with their money for that idea of yours, then you are not in business just yet. As much as possible, try to sell your finished product to your audience/prospects, if they happily buy it and refer their friends to you, then you are in business and should launch full time. Also build a list of potential buyers intimating them of what they should expect. The subscriber interest will also give you a clue on what your expected sales outcome might look like.
The above listed are the best proven methods to validate your business idea, once you are able to follow the steps and is successful, your idea is ready for the market.