How To Validate Your Business Idea

Do you have a business idea? Ever jotted those passing thoughts onto sticky notes or in a journal? We’ve all been there! But how do you actually start and make something of your idea….

Ideas stall because the process of getting them off the ground and running or to market can seem overwhelming. From the bar napkin on which it’s scribbled on, the process thereafter actually gets much harder.
Here are 5 steps to consider the next time you have your next big business idea:

1. Research
When you have that next big business idea, do a search for it, check the internet “GOOGLE THAT”. Before you get too excited find out if it already exists.

If you find it does exist, don’t give up, join the race and think of how you can do it better. This provides great research into what your direct competitors have done badly at and what they have succeeded in. The best way to learn is to become a customer/client of your direct competitor and ask yourself the question in the market being satisfied.

2. Get Feedback
Talk to others about your idea, especially those close to you that you trust. But don’t stop there, reach out to your network and get feedback. Sometimes those close to you may not understand your industry and the work you’re involved in. It may be beneficial to seek feedback from other trusted professionals within your target market. Get in front of your audience, find the pain points and work with ideas to solve them.

3. Test
If your idea has merit then build a prototype and start putting it out there to see if it is something the market actually needs and wants.

Some relatively inexpensive ways to test the waters with your business idea could be things like consignment arrangements, farmers markets, trade shows/expo’s and industry meet and greets as opportunities to meet industry players, network, make contacts and get feedback on your product or service would be greatly beneficial.

4. Build your Brand
If you’re testing goes well and you think that you might survive today’s fast moving and innovating business environment then it’s time to build your identity.

Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand image too.

5. Develop a Customer Acquisition Plan
Before you get into developing a lengthy business plan ask yourself “how do I get my first paying customer?”. You may have the best business plan in the world, but without customers you just simply have a website.

A great idea to acquire customers is to piggyback off other Companies that already have direct relationships with established businesses in your direct target market. You can then promote yourself to their database with special offers.

You will now either start getting tons of leads in your email, get a few leads or get absolutely nothing. Be sure to contact your leads, find out as much as you can about them and their needs. Just remember it’s much easier to build a business around demand.

Once you have determined you have a viable business idea CONTACT US to make sure you have the right structure going forward.

START SMALL! But just start! Get something out there and you can build out as you go.

, , , , , , , , ,