— January 25, 2018
As a business owner, you need to test your business idea before wasting time or money. The problem is several business owners get excited about something and fail to do the groundwork. A few weeks or months go by and then they realize they’ve wasted time and money on an idea that was never going to get off the ground.
While I may sound preachy, I’m not trying to be. The truth is I was one of those business owners a few years ago. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing, so I failed to test my business ideas before putting them out there. This resulting in a lot of wasted time where I felt like I was throwing spaghetti against the wall. Fast forward a few years and now I won’t put anything out there before testing it first. I also teach my students to do the same. Here are some ways to test your business idea before wasting time and money.
Conduct interviews with people in your market.
The first step required to test your business idea is to ask your market whether or not they even want it. Part of the problem I see with business owners is they think they have a good idea, but their market is thinking something else entirely. The end result is a major disconnect between the business and the consumer.
You can prevent this from happening by conducting interviews with people in your market. If you have a social media following or email list, you can start by asking those people a few questions. You’ll specifically want to ask about issues they are experiencing and what solutions they need. You can then talk about your idea to see if it resonates or if you need to make adjustments.
In doing this, you not only test your business idea, but you can also create something that is totally customized to your market. The end result is coming up with an offering that is easier to sell.
Keep asking questions.
Just because you test your business idea once doesn’t mean you can stop. For instance, one of the students in my group coaching program already has an idea for an offering that has begun to sell, but she’s not done with her market research. Her next step is to ask another layer of questions.
In her case, it looks like digging deep to figure out what’s going on with her market’s emotions. What is preventing them from taking action to solve their problems? What are they afraid of? This gives her insight she can use during the sales process.
Get beta testers.
Once you have a beta product or service that you created based on your market research, it’s time to find some beta users. When I did my first round of my group coaching program, I had ten beta testers who helped me figure out what I needed to tweak along the way. That information helped me improve the offering for the future.
Rather than assuming you know what your market needs, test your business idea first. Often times what we think they need isn’t in alignment with what they actually need. It’s only in testing your business idea that you’ll find the information you need to create an offering that sells.