Validating a startup idea can be divided into preliminary and in-depth testing. The second option is definitely a more serious undertaking to confirm that a market for the product actually exists. So how do you test a startup idea for real? Read our article to find out.
How to test your business idea for real? – table of contents:
- Why is testing your business idea important?
- Developing a prototype
- Building a Minimum Viable Product
- Presenting a prototype to potential customers
- Adapting your product
- Using social media
- Creating a marketing plan
Why is testing your business idea important?
For starters, it is necessary to explain why testing your business idea is so important. The answer is actually in statistics. It turns out that 42% of startups create a product or service that a market doesn’t need. The founders of such companies waste time and money, which always ends in the same way: the failure of the entire venture. So what to do if you’ve come up with a new business idea?
The proposed product must meet a need in the market and be properly marketed. It is, therefore, necessary to make sure beforehand that the concept is actually feasible This requires further testing. How to do this in an advanced way, once you know that there may be interest in your product? The entire validation process should be divided into several stages.
Developing a prototype
How to test your business idea for real? Business ideas start on a piece of paper, but they can’t end there. It is necessary to sift out those concepts that are not viable. Once the market tentatively confirms interest in the proposed product or idea, the next step needs to be taken. This time, it is necessary to approach validation with more energy. In the case of in-depth testing of an idea, a prototype product or test service should be prepared. All this so that you can present it and get detailed feedback from testers.
Building a Minimum Viable Product
The lean startup model is becoming increasingly popular (an iterative approach to project management). This is actually a reversal of the traditional way of thinking and minimizing risk. You don’t refine a product and then put it out there for evaluation by potential customers, but focus on an MVP instead. An MVP is the simplest form of your product that will allow you to better and more thoroughly test the potential of the entire venture without investing a lot of money. It is therefore worth using an MVP to validate a startup idea.
Presenting a prototype to potential customers
In the next step, when your prototype or testing service is ready, you should present them to your potential target customers. You may use a survey to get feedback at this point. Several dozen people should be surveyed in this way. The more, the better. It is necessary to find out whether your potential customers really identify with the problem in question in the way you do. Then, you will find out whether the problem is really serious for the target market, and whether the idea has any potential.
Adapting your product
A prototype may provide a lot of important data and feedback, but you can’t forget about adapting your product to the test market. The product should be related to the test market so you could get reliable feedback. Otherwise, there will only be frustration and anger among the testers. This, in turn, will result in receiving a lot of criticism, which will not be related to the essence of the product, but rather to its lack of fit for the particular stage of testing.
Using social media and a website
In the validation process, you can’t forget about such useful tools as social media and a website. A simple landing page dedicated to the given product should provide comprehensive information about it, and encourage people to share their opinions. Similarly, social networking sites can be used. They will let you gather more data as well.
Creating a marketing plan
When vetting your business concept, it is worth testing a previously prepared marketing plan. This will give you information on what marketing solutions worked, what tools worked, and what tools proved useless. Laying out a marketing plan at an early stage should start with a reflection on how to market a product. A preliminary survey of the target group should already provide some information. At a later stage, it will be possible to test the planned marketing solutions in practice.
Finally, an issue that is quite important in the entire validation process. It is essential to adopt an experimental approach to the implemented activities. Otherwise, you will act too carefully, being afraid of failure. In an experimental approach, you should be prepared to fail, or at least to make mistakes. This will make it easier to test an idea and its different versions. Such an experimental mindset should go hand in hand with design thinking – being open to creative solutions, defining a problem, and developing new, creative processes.
How to test your business idea – summary
In-depth market research using a prototype product or test service should give a definitive answer as to whether the market is ready for your business idea and whether it needs it at all. Such knowledge will determine the way forward, which is crucial.
You’ve just learned how to test your business idea for real. Check out our other articles: Startup development.
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