Validating Your Idea

The Quick & Simple Version!

1. Think about the thing you want to do for people.
2. Build a simple landing page.
3. Write content that describes that thing.
4. Add a button to "book" a discovery call.
5. Write content about it on social media for 90 days.
6. Answer questions on your content.
7. If people have more, ask them to book.
8. Ask 5 levels of discovery questions: - What's the problem? - What have you tried? How did it work? - What is that costing you? - How big of a priority is it to fix? - When are you hoping to have it fixed?
9. Send a recap email about what you learned.
10. Describe how you would fix the problem.
11. Explain how much it will cost.
12. Explain how long it will take.
13. Back into the date they need it fixed by.
14. Ask them if they would like to get started.
15. If they say "no", try again tomorrow.
16. If they say "yes", send them a payment link.

Congrats. You're running a business. 

With thanks to Justin Welsh. Follow Justin on Twitter & subscribe to his excellent weekly newsletter.

Nicola with Phoebe & Nelson in her beloved Greece

When Things Are A Bit More Complicated! Watch This First.

Here’s the scoop on business idea validation, broken down into ten essential steps that will save you time, money, and countless headaches.

1. Importance of Business Idea Validation

Why validate your business idea? Simple. It’s about making sure you’re not investing in a dud. The business graveyard is full of ventures that seemed like great ideas but didn’t have a market. By validating your idea, you ensure there's a real demand and that you’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

2. Market Research Techniques

Market research is your best friend. Start by identifying your target market—who are your ideal customers? Create surveys online with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  You can also use tools like Google Forms, or the paid version SurveyMonkey, conduct phone or face to face interviews, and gather as much real-world data as possible.

For the more techie, don’t forget about competitive analysis. Tools like SEMrush and SimilarWeb can give you insights into your competitors’ strategies and help you identify gaps in the market.  For the less techie, put yourself in your customer's shoes, think about the problem you are trying to solve, or the outcome you want and go online and do what your customer would do.

3. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

An MVP is the stripped-down version of your product that allows you to test your concept with minimal investment. Think Dropbox's early days—they started with a simple explainer video. The feedback from an MVP can be a goldmine of insights, helping you refine and perfect your product.

4. Online Tools and Resources

In this digital age, there’s no shortage of tools to help you validate your business idea. Google Trends can show you what people are searching for, while prototyping tools like InVision and Balsamiq let you visualize your product. Use these resources to gather as much evidence as possible.

5. Analyzing Market Demand

Understanding market demand is crucial. Use keyword research to see what people are interested in and identify trends and gaps. Successful businesses often start by filling a niche that others have overlooked.

6. Customer Feedback and Validation

Reaching out to potential customers is key. Use social media and online communities to gather feedback. Craft effective survey questions and conduct interviews to dive deeper. The goal is to understand what your customers really want.

7. Financial Feasibility

Calculate your startup costs and do a break-even analysis. This helps you understand how much you need to sell to cover your costs. Create financial projections to assess the viability of your idea. Remember, a solid financial plan can make all the difference.

8. Creating a Value Proposition

Your value proposition is what sets you apart. Clearly articulate the unique benefits of your product and why customers should choose you. Test your value proposition with potential customers to ensure it resonates.

9. Risk Assessment

Identify potential risks and conduct a SWOT analysis. Understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Develop strategies to mitigate these risks and keep your business on track.

10. Next Steps After Validation

Once you’ve validated your idea, it’s time to decide whether to proceed, pivot, or abandon it. Use the data you’ve gathered to make an informed decision. If the idea is viable, start planning the next phase: developing a detailed business plan, securing funding, and moving forward with confidence.

Conclusion

Validating your business idea isn’t just a step—it’s the foundation of your entrepreneurial journey. By following these steps, you’ll be equipped to turn your idea into a thriving business. Remember, the road to success is paved with preparation, persistence, and a little bit of humor. Now, let’s get started and make your business dreams a reality!

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