A new year always means an opportunity to start something fresh, something big, something about which you are super excited! You have been planning, imagining, and dreaming of that business idea or new product launch that you believe will take the world by storm. There is certainly nothing wrong with this. In fact, many of the best business ideas came from some of the biggest dreamers.
The next step however, before going all-in and investing in this big idea, is validating it. Simply put: is your product or concept a good one, will it sell? What makes your startup worthy?
So how exactly do you go about validating your product and affirming that your business idea is a viable one…Glad you asked!
Let’s Start with Market Research
The best way to know if your new product idea is going to fly, is to first see if there’s something similar already out there and then see how that particular product is performing. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing, especially as far as using someone else’s testing of the proverbial waters in order to undertake your own product validation. This will give you a solid look at how your own concept might perform in a fairly crowded online world. Need help navigating the dense digital marketplace, you may want to consider a freelance marketing expert to help you gather relevant data.
Just Share It!
What better way to know whether or not a business idea has traction than to share it with friends, family, the whole wide world of Facebook if you have to. Start talking. Feedback can be extremely helpful. And if it’s a great idea, then the corresponding feedback should be ultra-encouraging as well. Knowing what people actually think about a given business idea is so important prior to taking the ultimate risk.
If you really want to find out if you have a viable product on your hands, make a basic version of it first. Creating a prototype and then testing this in the “real world” is a fantastic way to get some true and honest product validation. Therefore, if the idea is not quite right, you still have time to tweak, tinker and toy without already having spent a fortune. And if you do need assistance in terms of creating the actual model, there are a number of terrific freelance professionals who could certainly be an affordable resource for you.
Gauge Potential Sales
There’s nothing wrong with putting some sales feelers out there to determine whether or not there is a market for your business idea. “Selling” prior to building is perfectly fine. Now of course this does not mean go head and take their money even though there actually is no product. But rather, generate a list of customers who will indeed purchase your item or service once officially launched.
Join the Crowdfund Craze
Testing the waters and gaining some product validation through a dynamic crowdfunding campaign is an excellent way to see if your new business idea is a solvent one. With platforms like Kickstarter now helping to launch new businesses, this is definitely a route many are pursuing. The crowd really does determine whether or not you have a valid product. And of course you could always hire a freelance crowdfunding campaign designer to kick yours up a notch.
Actually Interview People in Your Network
Interviewing is a far cry from sharing. At this stage, you now want to discuss--or email, or chat, Skype, you get the gist of it—with people the nuts and bolts of your business idea. One-on-one conversations are invaluable in terms of picking up on how a person truly perceives your product. Consider it the grassroots approach to product validation.
Test it with a Landing Page
You can certainly set up a landing test page to help you figure out how good and popular your idea may or may not be. Hire a talented freelance web designer to create a prototype page for you. Launch and see what happens. If the response seems to be positive, then you may in fact be on the right track. If not, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board.
Send out a Survey
A tried and true method, the survey allows people to reflect on your product via the cleverly crafted questions you create and give their honest answers. With numerous survey platforms available, it’s easier than ever to create and disseminate your survey. And don’t worry, if coming up with just the right questions isn’t your forte, there are many freelance content writers available who can get the job done in a cost effective way.
Carefully Evaluate Supply & Demand
Sure, your product or business idea may get some enthusiastic reaction, but if there is virtually no demand for it, or if that particular market sector is highly over saturated, then you may want to think twice about it. Taking the time to investigate the actual supply and demand when it comes to your niche is absolutely necessary in order to validate your product.
Live Demos Anyone?
Take it to the streets. If your product or business idea is fairly mobile, you may want to test it live. That is to say, for instance, if you want to launch a food truck, why not offer free samples. See how your food is received. Have an idea for a t-shirt company…maybe give a few away and gauge the response. It’s far better than investing all of your money only to find out your food sucks or your t-shirts are lame.
Create a Video
Everyone loves to share videos. So make one! We are a visual culture. Often consumers need to see something in order to truly understand it. By creating an engaging and informative video regarding your potential product or service, you give people a firsthand look at your new business idea. If you don’t know how to create a video, just look for a great freelance video editor to help. It will definitely be worth it!
Compose Your Value Proposition Statement
What are you actually providing to people? How is your product or service valuable? Why would people want to purchase it? A lot of great business ideas begin with this type of awareness. Composing a strong Value Proposition will help you better define your product and in the long run, see your business idea more clearly.
Go to Google!
Yes, the almighty and powerful Google. Using the Adwords Keyword Planner you can figure out how many searches are related to your particular business idea within a given month. This is a great indicator of the current marketplace and will help give you insight into whether your idea is hot or not. There are plenty of qualified freelance marketing experts who can help you analyze keywords and overall conditions in terms of the economics of your market sector.
Partner with Existing Businesses
In some instances, this strategy can work really well in terms of validating your product. For instance, if you have the idea for a new line of organic beauty products, why not see if a local retailer will stock a few samples and test the waters this way. Not to mention you get some exposure via an already established business. Need great packaging for when you bring your product to the store…a skilled freelance package designer can create something eye-catching!
Create it and Test the Thing Yourself
Pretty simple, if it doesn’t work, if it’s not particularly functional, if it has some major glitches as far as usability, then you might not be ready to launch that business idea just yet. Product validation is about finding out if your product has a market and then in turn, if your product can hold up to actual use when out circulating within that market. Make sure it works!
Yes, you may have the next big idea, but you want to make sure that others think that way too! Product validation is crucial to your eventual success. And Freelancer.com has tons of highly qualified freelance experts to help you get it done. From dynamic content marketers to marketers to package designers, we have the talent you need!