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The largest section of Fortune 500 companies started off as mere ideas. Business ideas are hard to come across and your idea may be the next successful multi-national corporation. The simple business idea should be proven before execution as hardly all entrepreneurs succeed in the market.
An idea may appeal to you but will it eventually satisfy the market? Let’s explore this detailed checklist to confirm if you should execute your idea, change it or even forget it. This is the five steps of how to test your idea.
1. Is there any similar product or service?
Some times back in college, I remember my friend had an awesome idea. She wanted to transport college students to an event. An hour had hardly passed before she was greatly discouraged due to the number of transport companies specializing in events.
In most cases, ideas are usually thought out by another creative person or company. Try to Google a simple keyword that explains your idea. Search your idea on YouTube. Which forms of the idea is it implemented? How different is your idea from the rest?
If your idea is exactly similar as an already functioning product or service, please don’t continue implementing the idea but try your best to change it. These types of ideas may later spring up legal issues that may probably occur after the successful launch of your product or service.
For a unique idea note down how the idea will help the market. Does it offer a better service or a more quality product? If the answer is yes, it’s time to move to the next step.
2. What is the public’s view towards your idea?
A few years back Roslin Institute cloned a sheep, the unforgettable Dolly. This action raised hopes that humans may be successfully cloned. The public kept complaining about this grave matter. Scientists saw it as progress, the public declared it unethical and several protests created enough attention to stop any attempts.
All entrepreneurs believe in themselves and they assume all their ideas are great and awesome. Truth be told, some ideas repel the consumers rather than appeal to them. Seek the most trustworthy group of friends or even family members to give you their response to the idea. Ask for honest answers and avoid flattery or exaggerated responses.
If everyone refuses and rejects your idea, the idea demands transformation. Transformation may require only slight change of the idea. Effectiveness of these is well expressed by a certain South African designer who only dyed his collection black and sold every piece of the garment he had after his royal customers rejected the same white clothes.
Ideas that have received a substantial level of acceptance should be allowed to be verified in the following section.
3. Is the prototype working?
Now it’s the perfect time to build a Minimum Viable Product(MVP). This is a prototype that will be used to test the functionality of your product. Eric Ries describes an MVP as that product that allows maximum learning about the customer at very minimum effort. The MVP will thus be the real test of your idea using real objects.
For technical ideas such as creating mobile apps, you may build a Facebook page and a short video describing how the app works to save time if the project requires a long period of time to complete.Non-tech ideas require a real sample. The sample should be working and be given freely to consumers.
Prototypes should be non-profit and be aimed to collect the customers’ feedback. If a large number of customers pose negative feedback it’s advisable to start over and build the product according to the customers’ expectations. Good feedback illustrates that the customers are satisfied and the idea is awesome.
4. Is there a demand?
Great ideas solve issues in society. Several problems result in demand for certain products and services. Several amenities are a must-have and result to a great market.
With the new advanced technology verifying the level of demand is easy. To test if your idea has the desired demand first create a coming soon page. This is a landing web page that expresses the business idea as an already established idea. These pages should enable you to verify how many people actually view the web page. The number of views is directly proportional to the demand thus high web pages view high demand.
Creating a Google AdWords campaign on the keyword that will represent your product. Ads ensure reaching the consumer at their time of need and the higher the number of ads clicked the higher the demand. Utilizing Facebook ads may also help register the desired outcome.
Ideas in high demand should be implemented as chances of success is high. Low demand dictates time for converting the idea to solve the customers’ most troublesome issues.
5. How many clients can you get?
After comfortable product production obtaining royal consumers should be implemented. Getting your first clients is challenging but it can be achieved in the following ways.
– Offer a free starter service.
At first, clients may end up not spending on the idea. Giving them free and great experiences trigger their urge to spend to continue enjoying the services.
– Reach out to competitors
Teaming up with competitors will end up ensuring you obtain their surplus market. Serving this ready market increases the chances of getting the first clients.
– Get involved with your network
In most businesses, the first clients were immediate family members or friends. These groups of people may offer the first clients.
Getting clients ensures that the business idea is actually working. Obtaining royal customers implies that the business idea should be maintained while the lack of clients after tough attempts to dictate the exhibits that the business idea should be discarded.
Your idea should pass all the steps to ensure it will serve the market well. These steps are however independent of each other and arguably obtaining a client is the best validation method.
Ideas are greatly increasing and passing today’s test doesn’t confirm the relevance of the idea to the future market. Ideas should thus be gauged after a certain period of time as technology advances and constant revolution of a product will ensure it retains its place in the market. For ideas that failed the validation list starting over is cheaper than changing it.