You got a biz idea? You gotta validate it
Entrepreneurship is the flavor of the season. Every other day a new startup is mushrooming at every possible corner of the cities. Everyone has an idea and everyone thinks his/her’s is the next big idea. While there could be many ideas, not all of those create great businesses. Hence, one of the steps to ensure a successful business is idea validation.
How to validate your idea?
It is the process of getting your idea substantiated by several methods. In simpler words, it means evaluating whether the idea is capable of generating desired revenue for businesses.
Go out and speak about your idea
You could never hide an idea thinking that someone would steal it. You have to go out and talk to as many people and get their feedback on your idea. As every idea seems to solve a particular problem in society, more inputs on how it could solve the problem would be really helpful. Suppose you intend to launch a healthy fruit drink aimed at kids, you need to go talk to parents at various places and see whether they would prefer such a product and be ready to pay for the same. In the process of interviewing people you would gain additional insights on features and components that they wish to see in that particular product. One must bear in mind that here surveys don’t work. It is important to speak and listen to your customers.
Go deeper into the data
Suppose you are looking to build an app based on the data that India has over one billion mobile users. Just this figure might not be sufficient to validate your idea. Go deeper into these numbers- what is the percentage of smarphone users? Which category of smartphones users are you targeting? What their paying capacity- so forth and much more. Valid numbers go a long way in substantiating your idea.
Find out more on existing products
Carrying out a thorough research on existing products of similar nature pays. It helps in more than one way. For once, you are sure that the idea has already been validated and secondly you could instead move on to improve the existing product/service.
Build a prototype or a mini version and test the same
Testing a mini version of your product helps. For example, if you intend to open a boutique, try selling initially through Facebook or Instagram. Responses received would gauge how successful a full-fledged boutique could be. Building prototypes also works well when writing software is your business idea.
Sell before you create
No business or idea survives without a customer. It is important to know whether your idea has the potential to generate revenue. And there is no better way to testing than asking the customer to pay. For instance, while many download a free application but when it comes to a paid app, people would download only when they perceive some value in it. You could contact your potential customers and tell them about your services and ask them to pay upfront.
You might have already created your website. Do not use your website merely to collect email ids. Go a step further and see how potential customers navigate through your site. It is only when your customers find your products/services interesting, you get a clear picture.
Remember validation is a valuable tool to ensure you don’t waste your time and money over businesses that make no sense in future. At the same time validation could never end. Your product/service should be constantly evolving in accordance with customer preferences.