If you have a business or are thinking about starting one, it’s going to be in the real world. Not in your mind. Your audience and customers are going to be real people, not imaginary. So why are you validating ideas in your head?
What is Idea Validation?
Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your idea prior to launching your business name, tagline, product, service, or website. This is like the research and development process big companies use to test product ideas before they’re released to the general public.
Idea validation can involve anything from information-gathering interviews to special landing pages on the web. The entire purpose is to expose the idea to your target audience before you build and release the final product.
Here are three things to consider the next time you have your next big business idea.
Create a prototype
If your business idea is for a product, create a prototype of the product. You can create the prototype yourself or hire someone in that industry to create it for you. For example, if planning on producing drone cases, you can buy the material yourself and create a case based on your design.
Don’t worry about producing a large quantity; you just want a few items to photograph and show to potential customers. If you are not creating a new product, but reselling another company’s product, purchase a few items for photographs and to show to potential customers. Once you have received the prototype or product you are reselling, you will want to see if customers are interested in making a purchase.
Create a Landing Page
Once you have your wireframe, it’s time to create a pre-launch page: Your landing page needs to have data on the following:
Very clear communication what the product is
Who exactly is this for
What is the problem it solves e.g. why should anyone care?
Transparently communicate that the product is not quite ready yet
This gives users the opportunity to enter their email to find out more about the product once it’s ready to go.
If you want to talk to your own customers, and understand product satisfaction, feature requests or anything else, a survey can be a great tool. You most likely have email addresses for your customers, or can provide a feedback link on your site, or even embed a survey in-product. However, your respondents are likely your biggest advocates who want to help you, or your least satisfied customers, who may want to complain.
This isn’t a sales exercise. It’s a great conversation with someone you respect. It’s not win or lose. It’s a win-win! And it’s the best way to take your idea and business to the next level.