How to find and validate business ideas
Finding an idea is the easiest part of building a venture. Understanding and accepting that the idea you thought was worth a million dollars, in fact, needs to be pivoted, can be quite hard.
But fear not! That’s part of the process. You have to look at it as an evolution that is increasing your chances of success. But how can you understand if you’re on the right path, or even what needs to be changed? The answer is testing, testing, and testing.
Idea validation methodologies can be of great help in this phase. You’ll be able to understand what customers are really looking for and what works better within the market, making it clearer to understand what direction you should focus on.
In this article, we’ll share a few suggestions on how to find a business idea, as well as on how you can validate it with our free Framework!
- How to find business ideas
Creativity is not your strength? You can always search for ideas or do exercises to help you find business ideas. Luckily, we will share with you four resources for this. But make sure you choose something you love because you will need to invest a lot of your time, one of your most precious assets.
Our first two suggestions use methodology-based approaches and can help you to have a better structure behind your business idea:
- Design thinking — Using this approach makes you think like a designer, even if you’re not one. It makes you create a solution-based approach tailored to the problem you’re trying to tackle. It consists in going through 5 iteration stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. There are plenty of ways to put this method into practice since it’s nonlinear. In this video, you can learn more about the design thinking approach and try to apply it to your situation.
- Brainstorming Session — We’ve all experienced the power of brainstorming and how debate and dialogue can really help decide future steps. The same happens with idea generation, if you and your team share a pain or know how your skills and passion can help in the development of a solution that could benefit the market, that’s a great starting point. Our advice is to use online tools, such as Miro, to run a collaborative (and yet organized) brainstorming session. For instance, you can use this free template for a startup ideation workshop.
In case you are looking for the recent trends in business or even a bit of inspiration, you may find these next two resources very handy:
- Reddit — On this platform, you can find communities in which business ideas are discussed, such as r/startups, r/business_ideas, r/entrepreneur, and r/smallbusiness. Plus, this is a great place to ask for feedback on your ideas.
- Trends — With Google Trends and Exploding Topics, you can find a lot of insights about the hottest topics and rising trends in every part of the world, which can lead you to create a business around them. An idea to get inspiration can be to use Google Trends in order to find the most asked questions in any country in the last year.
2. Validate your business idea
As a startup studio and incubator, we’ve designed a framework to help us and our startups validate new ideas. This framework was designed after years of experience in building new businesses, and we’re very happy to be sharing it with you.
The process of using this framework is very simple and easy. We recommend doing this exercise with your co-founders and/or mentors. It’s also possible to do it alone, but the goal is to gather assumptions and collect evidence to understand if your ideas make sense and which path you should begin with.
Our framework is divided into three main parts:
- Defining your Unique Value Propositions: this step focuses on understanding what is the perfect match between what your customers want and what your product or service excels at doing.
- Defining which Market Segments you must focus on: this is done by creating different types of personas that represent your future clients and then choosing which ones you want to focus on for now (according to your resources, stage, etc.)
- The Matrix: nope, not the movie. It’s an actual matrix where the elected unique value propositions and the market segments come together. For each of the combinations, a market experiment must be run in order to gather feedback and interest, which will help decide what is the best strategy for you (who’s your customer and what’s their pain point).
We’ve included an example in our template to help you out.
Additionally, we’ve created a step-by-step guidebook to help you go through the process. For those who came this far, we got a special discount for you of 20% with the coupon 20OFF.
We hope you find these resources helpful and if you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
About Build Up Labs
Build Up Labs is a startup studio that ideates, builds, and grows several startups in parallel, based on a lean process. We generate and validate digital product ideas by creating new ventures.
In 2020, we launched our Startup Incubator, supporting early-stage startups growth with mentorship, networking, investment, networking opportunities, and a like-minded community.
Do you want to be a part of a promising growth journey in the digital ecosystem? Join our Incubator today!