Dramatic much, Fab? Yes, and with good reason. I have supported over 150 businesses in my 10 years of work with growth, marketing and strategy. I can easily tell you that, whether you are a coach, expert or a rising startup, not validating your ideas could mean the death of your dream.
You see, I recently gambled with a new idea. In the past, I would have probably spent days dreaming of it, reading the branding and even website. This time, I talked about it with a selected few, and I only went through the process to buy a domain (guilty as charged).
Yet, as businesses have been constantly pivoting and shifting in the last few months, new ideas need to be vetted more carefully than ever. This is why I am taking the new and exciting venture and going extra slow with it.
I am letting it simmer, I am asking hundreds of people what they think and whether it could be something of use for them. I am asking uncomfortable questions, challenging myself to get answers I do not want to hear.
Why? Because being too attached to your idea could be the death of your business dream. In the best case scenario, you have it all figured out, in the worst case scenario, nobody is truly interested (or ready) for it.
Most times though, you just need to loosen the grip and adapt your idea to what your audience needs and wants.
Seriously, checking your ego at the door is the best way to produce something truly spectacular.
”85% of launches fail because companies did not take the time to validate their idea” – Creative Impact 2019 resource
Validating your business ideas
I have been sending surveys, doing polls and questionnaires since I started Creative Impact six years ago. I get every client that comes by to do a survey or questionnaire to validate their new product – surprisingly, product launches are rather common these days.
My favourite ways to validate an idea include:
- Ask questions to your audience
- Create polls on social media
- Create a questionnaire
- Send an email to your database
On a personal note, for this new idea I am first validating with a questionnaire, and subsequently I’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign (my third to date).
While many people fear a failed crowdfunding campaign, the astute business owner knows it’s a much better alternative to investing thousands of dollars of money, and months or years of time, into a business or project upfront, only to have the venture fail.
A successful campaign gives you the confidence that there’s a market for your product or service BEFORE you run off and create it and better still, it will harness a group of passionate supporters who believe in your vision and will cheer you along every step of the way.
Ask the right questions
Regardless of whether you are looking to refine a current product, validate a new project or simplify your overall strategy, asking the right questions (to yourself) and your customers is a game changer.
Truth is, not all questions were created equal. Hopefully, by implementing these questions, you can become a better listener for the people you are trying to serve.
Here are four things you need to bear in mind when asking questions:
- Understanding your audience
- Understanding demand
- Understanding the product
- Tackling objections
Understand your audience: who are you trying to help? This is the best time to clarifying demographics and understanding habits of your potential customers.
Understand demand: Highlighting needs and problems will help you analysing patterns and user behaviours. You will be able to see what is the biggest problem you are trying to solve.
Understanding the product: this is where your potential customers can truly guide you. How can you create the product that will fit your audience’s needs? When yo truly think about it, your customers will interact with the product far more than yourself.
Tackling objections: this is the perfect time to clarify objections. By highlighting struggles you can figure out why a product like yours is not in the market yet or how you can stand out from the crowd. This will also help you mapping support system.
Are you looking for help with what kind of questions you should ask? My friends at Typeform have a selection of templates you can use to help you creating such questionnaires.
Validating your idea can truly help you shape your business going forward.
I was working with a client on creating a strategy to launch a series a live class on the topic of public speaking.
We needed to decide on a time that would work for her classes. We headed to the collective (she is also a member), and since creatives are part of her target audience, made sense to ask them what time would work best!
We did a similar thing on Facebook groups as well as two dedicated Instagram polls to find out the best time for her audience.
Being able to test the different scenarios and start mapping your idea further and truly get excited about it.
Have you fully validated your idea? If not, what can you do to make sure your product is ready to be shared with the masses? What can you ask your audience to get more clarity around you launch?
As I personally go into this new project with excitement and very little expectation, I cannot wait to see whether this new idea has got the legs to become a new business going forward.
Looking for more ideas for successfully launch your next product? We got you covered.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.