You have an idea, you think it’s great, you ask a few people who all encourage you to go, go, go with it. The next step is not to start the business, it’s to start exploring its reality.
Entrepreneurial ventures begin with a market problem or need faced by a particular group of narrowly defined people, exclusive of family and friends.
It can be hard to admit your specific solution offering (business idea) is irrelevant at this stage. Do.
In fact, it is more than likely that adaptation of your solution will occur during the evaluation and development phase of venture creation and your final venture will be completely different to your starting idea.
Reality requires evidence of market demand.
How do you know that such demand exists?
The problem of falling in love with a product:
Many small business owners find a product or service they believe others will desire also, or undertake market research amongst biased family and friends who will:
a) support you regardless
b) may end up being the full extent of your customer database.
How to find evidence of market demand:
Firstly, market validation comes from external sources that may include:
- A Current Affair
- Tabloid Newspaper
- Academic Journal
- Industry Newsletter
As an example, I read the Australian Financial Review every day that I can to scour the headlines to discover anything about my competitors, industries I’m watching…
New information leads to new ideas which can be developed into new value.
- Are there deals to be done?
- What job positions are they advertising for that evidences growth?
- What type of ads are they placing that are attracting customers?
All these questions and more help you find clues to map out your greater strategy.
Where else could you find evidence specific to your idea or venture?
The second form of evidence you’ll need is that of market adoption. Your prototype or concept used by people with feedback given. Launchly allows you to obtain feedback on beta websites and Silverback offers usability testing.
- admit your business idea is irrelevant;
- find published articles with facts and figures that prove people have a problem;
- create surveys with 100+ opinions (excluding family and friends) on your solution;
- test before launch for usage feedback.