4 Ways to Validate your Idea

by Katia P. Mason

Every great invention, every great company starts with a dream. It starts with an idea to solve a problem, bring good to people, improve the quality of life, open new possibilities, and indeed to earn money. However, business never revolves around money alone; it revolves around a concept of progressing and improving.

Once you have an idea, that you believe would be a great business one day, first and foremost thing you need to do is to understand that at the same time at least 20 people around the world had the same idea pop in their head. Now, it is a question of who will be able to bring it into a reality. Would it be you or one of those 20 people?

There are hundreds and thousands of ideas never see the light of the day due to lack of knowledge, commitment, motivation, funding, bad judgment, or simply because it {idea} has never been validated. And this is the most important thing every soon to-be-a-startup must go through! You need to make sure that you have a market who needs your products before you end up wasting your time and money building a product that nobody wants. It is indeed an obvious step, however many disregard it and set it aside.

At this point many entrepreneurs think they know what their audience wants, they don’t want to wait, as well as they only don’t know how to validate!

Trust me it is always better to validate your idea before you start wasting your life and can find something that will work. If you have gone through validation, you will end up with a better product and a much higher chance of success.

Many people, more so entrepreneurs are very reluctant to find out that their idea is not going to work, and most of the time they do take it as a failure. Wrong thinking! If you did end up validating your idea and came to a conclusion that it is bad, you just saved yourself a ton of time and money!

In this blog post, we are going to cover a couple of ways one can use to ensure the success of his/her future business.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! RESEARCH

Learn everything about your potential competitors you can. Try researching some blogs that are addressing a problem that your future product is going to solve. Listen to what people are saying about your competitors, what are some of the challenges they came across and try to resolve them.

Competition is great, especially so for you. Someone has already spent some money and made it work, but there is always a way to make things work better.

TALK AND SHARE YOUR IDEA

Many people tend to think someone is going to steal their idea is they are going to share it. This is the biggest mistake you can make. You MUST share your idea!

Tell it to your family, friends, and co-workers. They will be able to give you instant feedback. You need to be ready to hear anything from “this is crazy” to “you are a genius.” Once you share your idea, it will get more refined and will be more mature. You shouldn’t fear that someone is going to steal your idea, not everyone has means, time, and guts to start a business!

The more feedback you get from people, the better the idea becomes.

PROTOTYPE

It doesn’t have to be expensive; it should represent your idea in a physical form. Then share it with people and listen to feedback. Some of the responses you get will not be pretty, but you will get an idea what should be improved and what your audience need. It is so important to understand how to build your product the right way.

SELL IT BEFORE GOING BIG

If you want to know that you onto something, the best way to know is to find out whether people will pay for it.

Many may suggest starting building a landing page and collecting email addresses of people to hit the button “yes, I want it.” The real validation comes from people paying for your product before they can get it.

Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, founders of Birchbox, met at Harvard Business School and came up with a brilliant idea to help consumers cut through the clutter of the retail world to find products that work for them. While they were in the validating phase, they did end up selling over 200 boxes, which proved that they had created a fantastic product.

There are numerous pre-selling strategies you can use to see if people will pay to have your product. You can set up some pay-per-click ads on Google and Facebook (Tim Ferris talks about it in more detail in his “The 4-Hour Work Week”). Does it work? YES!

Another great approach is to do a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, Indigogo, or any other similar platform. If you are successful, you will have paying customers already if not you will learn you will have to let it go!

It is, of course, hard to validate an idea, but it worth your time and money! Always better to put your best effort into something that will work.

Best of luck, and thank you so much for reading, use social media buttons to share it with your fellow start-uper!