It is one thing to brainstorm great business ideas, and yet another to see the idea into fruition. Most startup businesses are bound to fail if the premise behind the startup idea has not been validated.
One major problem that most upcoming, and some existing, entrepreneurs fail to acknowledge is that what may seem and sound like a million-dollar idea could merely be an edgeless vehicle full of frustrations. Most startup ideas that fail do so because they are never validated to establish their feasibility and operability before they are initiated.
Another great misconception that guides many failed entrepreneurs is that they tend to believe that with ideal funding, even an impotent idea can still yield to profitability. Let’s face it: if a business idea is worthless, no amount of budget can turn things around and make it profitable, unless an entrepreneur changes some aspects of the idea.
As an entrepreneur, you should be keen to look for gaps and opportunities that can be profitable filled. However, of essence, there must be demand in the opportunities. In addition, you will need to establish the flaws of your business idea. The idea that your friends term as an excellent idea could have several potential red flags that minimize your chances of success. Therefore, it is necessary for every entrepreneur to validate a startup idea before initiating it. The following steps can help you validate your business idea before initiating your project.
· Identify the Demand Gap
The demand gap is usually an existing problem that needs to be fixed. Therefore, for you to recognize demand, you need to identify a problem area that requires a solution. This means that you need to come up with a practical solution that fixes the problems.
The solution that you come up with should not be short-lived but should help to advance the lifestyles of potential customers in future. This step helps you to quantify both the present and the future demand so that you can plan on the best practices of satisfying clients.
· Discover the Potential Market
Demand is relative to the market. However, you need to be able to ascertain the market to ensure that customers will be willing to pay for the products/ services that are in demand. It is critical to ensure that the demand available has a specific target market that needs to be satisfied. You will also have to analyze the size of the market and the prospect of future growth.
· Analyze your Competition
It is somewhat difficult to detect a market with no competitors. Your competitors and their level of control of the market share will determine your level of success. You will have to determine their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to customize your business ideas to provide improved products/ services that will have more appeal to the potential market. In essence, you are trying to find points of pain in existing solutions and tailoring your potential solution to eliminate the points of pain. Moreover, analyzing your competition will help you determine whether it is feasible to enter a market and the best marketing practices that may help you penetrate the market with much ease.
· Determine the Value Proposition
The products or services that you intend to create should have a value proposition that benefits your clients. You must be ready to determine the unique features of the product/ service that advance the lifestyles of your clients. These are the strong points that you will use to convince potential clients to buy your products or services. It is critical to ensure that your value proposition has strong points that are convincing enough.
· Test your Idea
Testing ideas is an important step in the validation process. Testing startup idea will enable you to determine if you will realize actual sales eventually. You need to know that people may like your idea, but they may not be willing to buy any of your products or services.
This stage of validation requires honest opinions from real users. You could offer the product/ service as a free trial so that you can collect feedback from users and get to know what they think of your products/ services. The feedback that you get should be used to improve the products/ services by customizing various aspects to suits the needs of clients.
· Venture into the Market
If you realize that your startup idea is feasible, you need to start finding you first clients. At this point, it is critical for you strategize your marketing campaign. It is advisable to create a unique landing page that will help you to tap into the existing needs of clients. Collecting emails through newsletters is a great way of getting more leads hence you’ll be carving out your own market share.
It is important to trust yourself with the business idea that you have in order to have the confidence to make it more practical. Enlisting the services of an expert business advisor can motivate you to take the right steps towards establishing a successful startup business. You will also need to establish your digital presence by having a good-looking website and social media accounts where you can connect with potential clients.