Of course you have a business idea? But you are doubtful about it? Thinking whether it works or not? These steps guide you to validate your business idea.
If you are similar to most innovative entrepreneurs, however, the problem comes in the immediately is that, when the idea remain as a passing thought or a series of sticky notes in a journal until the energy passes. After a few months later, you see your idea on the table at a local retailer shop or in the App Store.
We all have been through that situation.
Next time when a big business idea flash through your mind, follow these steps.
1. Search for it.
When I came to know that someone’s mind has flashed with business idea, I took my mobile and within a little time can often find an existing product or service with a search on Google or any other search engine. Before you even get wrapped up in an idea, save yourself the time and do a thorough research to find out if it is available or not.
If you find that it exists, don’t give up on your inspiration immediately. Perhaps, there are many ways to improve the existing product?
Can you add some value to the business already producing it? Could the market will be satisfied better? If you have the answer “yes,” then move to the next step.
2. Look for its feedback.
Take suggestions about your idea, specifically with people you trust. At this stage, what you want is 100% honest feedback.
Entrepreneurs have a potential to get stuck to their idea, when they bet their life that their idea is a winner, regardless of what others say. If you are the only person who thinks the idea is good, then it is time to rethink.
3. Create an MVP.
If your idea has people’s support, then consider creating an MVP, or minimum viable product, to enquire if it is a product you and others would really use. Channel your inner motivation and build a working prototype, or look to a resource that has the ability to compate with newer technologies, such as 3D printing, to help them.
If you have a technology idea, for example a smartphone app, look to outsourcing or a StartupWeekend event to find the help you need.
Once you got the MVP, use and test it and have others to test it as well. If it turns out to be a product that you and your friends would never like to use, scrap the idea.
4. Work on building your identity.
If your experiments goes well and you feel that you are awarded with a winning idea, start building a brand for it now. In today’s fast moving and creative business environment, an idea that is validated today may be kicked off or even used tomorrow, so do not dismiss it.
Most importantly, unless your idea is founded in a groundbreaking and completely new technology, more chances are that it is already being conceived by someone else already. But it still not revealed.
At this point, some fear that “revealing” their idea may cause someone to steal it. This is a completely valid issue, but these days, you should go on the thought that someone will steal it or develop a newer and better idea eventually, so the key to success will be to be firstly introduced to market.
Look for a great name and securing the website domain to create, at a minimum, an attractive business landing page.
Next, secure your business name with every social-media site you can. Even if you do not use them, it protects you from others securing and using them, and it will definitely improve your search-engine optimization. Then start using these resources to build a fan base.
5. Have a customer grab plan.
Before you go deep into a lengthy business plan, which more than likely will be cloned before you even launch, focus on two questions:
“How do I get my first customer?”
“How do I get my n-th customer?”
You may have the best business plan in the world, but without customers, you got nothing. Create a thoughtful customer-acquisition plan and marketing strategy and be prepared to explain it to investors, partners and stakeholders, as this will definitely be the first questions they are gonna ask.