As a budding entrepreneur, do you have a great business idea? Are you already fascinated about converting your ideas into reality?
Congrats!! You are almost halfway there to success. Though it is exciting and tempting to start initiating the project right away, it is crucial to test your business idea.
Yes, you need to test your idea before investing in any new business. You cannot start working based on your assumptions and beliefs. Above all, business involves investing a great deal of time, money, and energy. Thus, you cannot experiment by risking your efforts and money.
So, the first step is to check the viability of your business idea. Thus, you can refine and finetune your ideas to get optimum results. Today with the internet and technology you can test your business ideas effortlessly.
The internet can provide you all the needed information by analyzing various aspects of your start-up idea with a single click.
Ways to Test Your New Business Idea
No, you need not spend money or acquire some skills to access your idea. Just engaging with the right people and asking the appropriate questions will allow you to know the viability of your business idea.
If your idea seems to solve your potential customer’s problem and you can forecast a market for your product, you can go ahead executing your business idea.
1) Ask the Right Questions
Ask yourself the following questions. Finding the appropriate answers will help you validate your idea and give you a green signal to proceed further.
- Who is your customer?
You must have a specific answer. You cannot make a product for everyone. Be particular about your target audience. So, you can focus on providing better solutions to their current needs.
- Are you solving problems?
Budding entrepreneurs often think about products and features first. But, experts suggest focusing on the problem first. What problem does your product solve? Is your target audience facing a similar pain point? Is it worth solving?
- How does your product add value?
Ask yourself how your product solves the problem of your customer. What value does it add to their lives?
- What are the prime features of the product?
More than cool features, the product needs to solve specific problems of your customers. It can be either saving time, making their lives comfortable, or allowing them to make money from it.
2) Do Competitor Analysis
In any business, you are not alone. You will have competitors in every industry. No matter how innovative and beneficial your business is, people will compare your products with your competitors. So, you have to compare it yourself first.
Competitor analysis will help you understand their product benefits, pricing, and marketing strategies. So, you can come up with a better product with valuable features at a better price.
When you distinguish your business over your competitors, your target audience will notice you. Give reasons for your customers to choose you over others.
3) Assess Your Capital
Any new business demands capital. Of course, you have to invest money to make money. Evaluate how much money you will need to kick off your business.
Most entrepreneurs arrange capital from several resources like friends, family, savings, and taking loans from banks. Thus, you will be using a combination of resources to fund your business.
But, you are still not sure about running a profitable business. Thus, you have to figure out how much you expect to earn from your new business. It should generate income at least to run the business and take the running cost initially. If not, you have to reconsider or re-evaluate your business idea as the current one is not viable to continue.
4) Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
A minimum viable product is not a full-fledged product and will have only basic features. You can build MVP with minimal resources. Hence, it allows you to check the viability of your business idea cost-effectively.
Build an MVP and test it with a specific group of people. That will help you understand how people engage with your product. You can get their reviews and feedback and work on improvising it. Thus, you can come with a more competitive product in the market.
Experts suggest entrepreneurs not skip MVP as it helps them understand the viability of their product precisely. Once you are confident about your product, you can improvise the MVP by getting inputs from the target audience and others.
5) Develop a Test Website with Social Media Integration
Now, you need to let the world know about your business/product. Yes, your target audience must get more information about the product and spread the word to others.
Building a simple website with a landing page, particularly for the product, will enable your business to reach your target audience faster. Also, you can leverage social media to provide information and track the audience’s response to your business.
6) Create a Marketing Plan
As you now have a minimum viable product (MVP), you must start marketing it. Leverage all means of marketing, so your business will reach a maximum audience.
Start listing all things that you can do to market the product. Then, execute that list relentlessly. Meanwhile, meet people and discuss your product. By doing this, you will understand how many are interested in your products, their views, or suggestions.
Moreover, you will also get to know what marketing strategies worked and what did not work. Thus, you can improvise your marketing efforts and take all the needed steps to kick off your business idea.
7) Interview Your Customers
Business is all about fulfilling customer’s needs. Thus, take time to meet them and understand their needs and concerns. That will give you some valuable insights.
Be with an open mind and ask questions with a sense of curiosity. Focus on customer’s needs and try understanding what exactly they are looking for from your products.
When you know your customers better, you can create better products that match their expectations and add value to their lives. Thus, your business will do well and generate excellent revenue over time.
8) Ask, Why?
As you interview people, do not consider their answers abruptly. Most of them say that they like the idea/product for face value. So, always double-check with them by asking why. Why they prefer the product, or why they do not like it.
It is easy and safe to assume everything is alright, but not in the long run. Entrepreneurs have to ask why now and then in all stages of their business. Thus, they will find answers and go ahead in doing genuine and successful business.
In general, more than focusing on features of your product, concentrate on what value it will add to your customers. The value can be quantitative, like saving time or revenue generation. But the value can also be qualitative, like pain relief or lifestyle benefits.
A customer-oriented business that comes up with innovative solutions to customer’s problems will do well for sure.
9) Go ahead and Jump Off the Cliff
Even after so many discussions and meetings, you cannot find answers to every question you have in your mind. At one point, you need to jump off the cliff, so you can fly high and have fun. The same goes for business. Yes, above all, you should have a risk-taking mindset to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey that demands entrepreneurs to have extreme self-esteem, analytical and problem-solving skills. These qualities make you stand apart from the crowd. Follow your intuition and gut feeling and get started with your business idea.
Apparently, there is no standard procedure, or no one can assure whether the company will be successful. That is why entrepreneurship is challenging for most of us. However, careful planning, appropriate marketing strategy, and reasonable capital will help you take your business idea off the ground.
If you observe the successful brands today, even they have had a challenging startup story. Also, we have seen a few businesses that disappeared within a few months/years. There is no secret recipe for successful entrepreneurship.
But, the general formula for any successful business goes like this. Find your passionate business niche. Only passion helps you keep up the momentum in the long run.
Then, find your target audience’s needs and focus on building products/services that meet their expectations. When you focus on your customers and do customer-oriented business, it will eventually be a successful and profitable business.