Validating your Small Business Idea/New product before launching

Is there need for your Product/services in the market?

Many business owners get their businesses up and running without validating their business ideas. Validating your business idea is all about making sure you are building the right business and creating the right product for your business – a product that will fit in the market. Your business cannot succeed if you don’t have the right idea or product.

Before you set your e-commerce site up and running, you need to figure out what you are trying to build. That means you need to figure out how you are going to build your enterprise before getting your physical store all stocked up.

Validating your business idea and your products calls for you to interact with potential customers in your target market and see if you are market fit. With validation, you will be able to understand how and whether your product or service meets or does not meet your customers’ needs. Figuring out whether your business idea/product/service is viable as early as possible saves you time and money. Validating your business idea saves you the hustle of tries X as you lose money.

Steps to validate your small business

1.Articulate your vision  

What do you want to be about? Do you want to build a product or a service based business? There are is so much that comes with having a business idea and having the idea is not enough.

You need to figure out what your idea is all about? What do you want to achieve with whatever enterprise you are building – goals? Articulating your business vision is all about your Product’s value, your assumptions about your target audience, pricing, your uniqueness and your business model.

2.Research and Assess the market

What market awaits your business? Is there a market for your products or services? Is there a problem in the market and is it worth solving? If the market does not think there is a problem to be solved, then whatever solution you are bringing to the table will not be appealing to your target users.

On the other hand, some people in the market might see that there is a problem that needs to be solved and your business might be the solution. However, are these people enough to bring enough revenue to your business? Is it worth investing and are you guaranteed a Return on your Investment?

If there is a good market size for your enterprise, you can justify your business or product launch with a good potential for success.

Get statistics of the specific market you want to venture into. What’s being done and what’s not? Look at products or services similar to yours in the market. What are their sales data and how many manufacturers or businesses are there currently and what are their shares in the market?

Remember, your differentiating factors in your products, services and your business model will help you stand out in the existing market. These factors will be substantial in determining where you venture fits in the market.

3.Involve your potential customers – customer validation interviews

You cannot validate your product or services without involving the people you need and your target in the market. Involving your target market helps you see the potential of your product or service in the market.

You need to get information from potential customers not just your family or friends. The process of validating your business idea comes down to exposing your idea to your target market before launch. In today’s market, there are a variety of ways to do that. One, face to face conversations by simply requesting a conversation with someone in the target market. Two, through information-gathering interviews that lead responders to a landing page. Three, you could consider using online surveys.

Interview people in your target market segment and ask them about their preferences, their current products, and their needs and wants. Remember your initial assumptions about your target market, use them as some of the interview questions to get the right answers.

These information gathering options help you sample feedback before officially launching your business or your new products. This feedback can help you figure out whether your product or service has a strong market validity.

4.Test it out – your product or service

Another important process of validating your business is testing your product or service.

This has been found to be effective for many businesses, both new and existing businesses. You need to put your product or service out there to a group of people in the market to see how it would be received in the actual market as a finished product or service.

For existing businesses that want to introduce a new product to the market is making a few pieces or samples of your new product, introducing them and determining your next step from the reception you get. If the product, for example, a specific dress is well received, it means there is market and potential customers are willing to pay for that product, you make more.

Another way is having internal employees and external users to test out the products or services. Internal users – your employees or other people you are working with – can help pin-point faults before involving outside users. External users on the other hand are a limited group from the real target market who test out the products or services with specifications to identify problems with the products or the services.

However, as you test out the new product or service, remember to let potential users that it’s a new product and the version they are testing is not the finished product.

5.Review and Put your feedback to use – Decision Time

You will get a lot of feedback during your validation process from the research you do and the people you involve. With all these feedback, you will be able to know whether your product or service is good to go. You will be able to know what worked best for your potential customers and what didn’t. This way, you will be able to fix what needs to be fixed before launching officially.

You will discover that your beliefs might not be your customers’. But remember, your customers’ beliefs are what will determine your business’ success. They can help you build a better version of your product.