You’ve come up with a winning business idea and you’re ready to get to work building your startup.
But before you put in the work to make it a reality, there’s one crucial step that will save you a great deal of headache.
You need to start with market validation.
What Is Market Validation?
Market validation means finding out whether there’s demand for your business idea.
It tells you how likely it is that your business will be profitable in a reasonable amount of time.
If you find that it’s not a potentially profitable idea, you can abandon it or refine it so that it is.
Validation is important because you can’t tell all by yourself whether an idea is viable.
You need objective data from your market, not just assumptions.
This step in the process saves you time and trouble because it prevents you from launching a business that’s not going to take off.
Check out the Competition
A good way to get started is to see if your idea already exists and is out there making money.
Get online and search.
See if your competitor has an audience and if they’re selling.
If so, this is a profitable idea.
You just have to put your own spin on it.
If you find that it’s taken, this doesn’t mean you can’t launch a similar business.
In fact, it confirms it’s a good idea.
If you find that many businesses are out there using your idea, you might want to refine it.
This could mean the market is already saturated.
You’ll face tough competition unless you can find a good way to differentiate yourself.
Does Your Business Solve a Problem?
Another way to assess your idea’s viability is to consider it in terms of problem and solution.
The best business offerings solve a problem for their customers.
What issues and challenges do your customers face?
Does your product or service help to solve them?
Research your target audience.
Follow them on social media, join groups where they’re members, and look for questions they’re asking.
Use Web Analytics
You can gain a great deal of insight by looking at web analytics.
Start by using a free keyword tool to investigate search terms.
Enter terms related to your business idea and look at search volume.
If people are looking for these keyword terms, it means they’re looking for what you’re offering.
This is also a great way to refine your idea.
Keyword search tools will show you other high-volume words and phrases.
You can discover what people are searching for.
There are programs that analyse social media behaviour as well.
Don’t forget also to look at Amazon and affiliate network programs and see what products are selling.
Reach out to Your Audience
You can get great feedback on your idea by reaching out to your audience and asking them directly if they’re buying what you’re offering.
You can start with friends, family members, colleagues, and employees.
Reach out to social media followers, email list subscribers, members of your online groups, or any other access you have to your target audience.
Ask them whether they’re interested in your idea.
While you’re talking to them, see what problems they’re facing.
Find out what products they currently use and what faults they have.
You can also ask how much they’d pay for a service like yours.
Validation Is Just the Beginning
Remember that market validation is no guarantee of success.
It just tells you that there’s a market out there for what you’re offering.
If you take the time to validate, your idea is more likely to earn in the short term.
Now, your idea is ready to launch.