So you have this business idea, and you’ve been wracking your brains for months trying to refine it and turn it into reality. You’re close, you can feel it. But before you move beyond the speculative and start investing all of that nest egg you’ve been building, you’ve got to validate your idea first.
Validating your idea for your startup venture is such an important piece of the puzzle. You have to take a long, hard look at yourself, your company, and your product. You don’t build a house without figuring out whether you could afford to build it. Do you have the time, ability and resources needed to bring your idea to life? How much money can you invest?
Where will you fabricate your product? Would you need to comply with any law or regulation? How much demand would you be able to supply? Can you do everything yourself or do you need financial or technical help?
This takes a lot of objectivity, which a lot of new entrepreneurs lack. Business ideas are not your “babies”, and you mustn’t treat them as such. Don’t be afraid to face your product’s weaknesses and failures, as it’s the only way you can improve them and make them ready for the world.
You also should not get so attached to it that you can’t kill it if your research and groundwork indicate that it would not be feasible, marketable, or profitable. You have to be able to let go and drop them if you have to.
Top 28 Questions You Can Ask to Validate Your Startup Idea
You’ve got to get on the ground and get a feel for your intended market. You’ve got to answer some important questions.
- Who are they?
- What do they do on a daily basis?
- What are they missing?
- What problems or issues do they encounter?
- What level of viable product would it take to test your potential market?
- Is there any mentor or experienced advisor in the field you can reach out to?
- Have you found a potential manufacturers for your ideal product?
- Do you have a partner or a potential partner that may help you along the way?
- How is your product blueprint doing based on customer testing?
- Do you have anyone that can benefit from you product?
- Is your ideal business a going concern or just a seasonal business idea? e.g Christmas
- What is the size of your potential market?
- Is your ideal business a product or service focused?
- Is it a digital products idea?
- Do you have a website in place or know how to build one?
- What would make your customers lives easier, and how much would they be willing to pay for it?
- Are there any other products that do what your product would do?
- What feedback are you getting from your customers to be?
- How else could your potential competitor’s product be improved?
- Does your potential idea require certain capital to kick start?
- How can you break-even if capital is required?
- What mechanisms are in place for your investors to see returns?
- What percentage of your idea business are you willing to give up should you have a potential investor/s?
- If your business idea require injection of capital, what payback period do you have in place and at what parameters?
- If your ideal business requires borrowing of fund then at what cost of capital can you handle? (Considering interest rates and inflation).
- Have you done your SWOT analysis?
- Who are your potential competitors?
- What differentiation are you bringing into the ideal industry?
- What are your potential comparative advantage/s over your potential competitors?
What To Do With A Startup Idea
Some people may have developed their ideal product for several months while others take years. The problem is, without testing it on their intended market, nothing will come out of the business venture. Many companies have failed because they jump into production half-cooked.
In rushing things and taking certain shortcuts in this part, they end up just wasting a lot of money, time, and effort. It is not the way it should be.
This is the stage where start-up businesses falter and fail completely, even when they may have come up with brilliant and innovative ideas.
The best concept does not necessarily guarantee success, although some companies believe that this is all they need to have. So they skip the testing process and launch the product to the market.
A lot of the time, the great idea becomes a flop because its propagator failed to see its weaknesses and flaws. It may be as “minor” as button placement in the UI design, or as major as not having any users for it at all.
Market Validation Survey
Getting onto the pulse of your market is the part that links everything from beginning to end. It is also the stage when the creators can develop interaction with their intended users.
From the tests they facilitate, they get the thoughts of the people. They can also do some experimentation with different markets. This way they can identify the market they can sell to.
The attached info-graphic has 9 effective ways of validating a product idea. The more you read and study it, the firmer your grasp of the validation process will be.
To give you a glimpse, below are recent activities found on the world wide web regarding the topics on startups ideas:
Search activities for past 5 years indicates a monumental rise on the very topic startup ideas and the trends seem not to be relenting this year as well.
Source: Google Trends
The past few months have seen you creating a new concept. You’ve made the necessary modifications to your model. You only have one more problem to solve. The only answer to your dilemma is to validate your idea.
This is where start-up companies falter and fall down completely. They may come up with the greatest product on earth. Creating the best concept does not guarantee success. Some companies believe that this is all they need to have.
So they skip the testing process and launch the product to the market. A lot of times the great idea becomes a flop because they failed to see the problems it has. Or they have no users for it.
How To Startup New Business Without Spending Much
The bottom line is, you will need a combination of time and money to set everything in place depending on the horizon or scope of your startup idea.
You don’t have to break the bank to startup some new ideas and not every new idea will require the injection of large amounts of capital or office premises.
This will only work if your idea is based on a digital product. If you have validated your ideas as mentioned above, then you can go about setting up by simply doing the following:
First narrow down your niche market with this Keyword Research Tool –
For example if you ideal product is to write a digital book on how to loose weight, you may want to narrow the niche down to a particular market that is not too broad like how to loose weight after birth.
This tool will also help you out with all the research you will need like market scope, who are your competitors, search volume on the internet, rankings on google and so on.
There is a free version which is great and works well but has its limitations on what you can do. And there is paid or upgraded version which allows you to unleash its full potential with no limitations.
The next step is to set up website and you can do that by simply typing in your chosen domain name below-
With a beautiful website you are ready to go. All you need now is to start writing your ideas into a digital book form. Yo can use Microsoft word to do your writing but I would personally recommend downloading and using Apache OpenOffice windows for the this.
This is because it is very easy to transform your work into a portable document form called (pdf) which makes uploading it to platforms like JVzoo host very easy. This way you can start selling your ideal product as an eBook or a guide to series of how to lose weight after birth for example.
You can also surround yourself with an army of affiliates to help you sell the products much faster if you offer them a decent commission like 50% of every sale they make on their blogs or websites.
Always remember to validate your ideas first before jumping in. And if you are considering a digital product which is less capital intensive, then you can follow the last steps above.
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A contributor to this article is Sara Smith, a designer and promotion expert at startbloggingonline.com.
If you have any questions or comments i would be happy to answer in the box below. And don’t forget to share this to your friends if you feel it will benefit them as well.