Validate Your Idea with Market Research
Before you get off to the races, you should verify your assumptions about your business idea are valid. You need to know if you’ve really got something worth pursuing before you spend a lot of time, money, and effort on a business that won’t work. You can test these assumptions with market research.
One of the best ways to handle this process is to create a lean business plan, a minimum viable product, and get feedback from your likely customers. This process will both formalize your assumptions and test those assumptions with real people—the people you want to reach.
Define the business “problem” you are addressing
Determine the “pain points” you want your business to solve
Come up with a compelling synopsis of your offering
Clearly define your ideal customer and create a profile
Determine your business location: Online vs brick-and-mortar. Research the location.
Clearly define your strategic and competitive advantages
Decide who you need on your team—whether you should hire or outsource. Or, if it is best for you to start on your own.
Come up with financial projections. This is essential to determine whether your business will actually be profitable.
Set up objectives, milestones, and goals for your business to track success. Use a S.M.A.R.T. goal system.
Test your ideas with your audience. Conduct surveys, have focus groups, use questionnaires, and use quizzes to gain customer insight.
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Find out if your target audience actually has the pain points you assume they do
Question your target audience to determine your solution actually works for them
Test your pricing strategy with your MVP to get customer reaction and adjust accordingly.