- March 20, 2018
- Posted by: Koyona Duke
- Category: Entrepreneurial Development, Learning, Solutions
We all have great ideas especially when we are alone. You find that you can create a product or service in your head and see how successful it will be and it will all seem like a breeze in your head. But how do you know if it will succeed in the real world? The biggest mistake we make as entrepreneurs is to take our ideas and go ahead then realize somewhere down the line that we spend tons of money setting up a business that nobody wants to buy from, Leading us to lose money and have extreme stress. Another scenario is we get stuck with an idea that we have to make work. We refuse to let it go and close up because we have to prove something. Finally, we find that what could have saved us all that time money and heartache was just a little problem we should have fixed ages ago at little or no cost.
In my research and talking to people we have discovered 3 key steps in validating ideas to help save us some heartache.
- Research: the first thing you can do is find out if this idea is being done or if this business exists. This is not so you will be discouraged it is so you know If it’s worth your while? How is it being done? How can you do it better? Ideas do not have to be new, they just have to be a new perspective, solve a problem in a new way, provide value in a new way, or communicate an old message in a new way.
- Talk to people about it: So now you have done your research and you have seen that there is nothing new in your idea, but you are solving this problem in a new more efficient way. It’s now time to talk to people about the idea. People get really scared of sharing new ideas because they are afraid of competition, especially in Nigeria. But I believe that it’s rarely possible for you to be objective about something you have created. The people you talk to will help you sort out the objectivity issue. Try to talk to at least 10 strangers. Not your spouse or partner or best friend or parents, but people who you know have anything to lose by telling you the truth. Keep an open mind to receive their feedback and see how it fits or shapes your idea to be better.
- Build an MVP: An MVP is a minimum viable product an idea commonly used in Lean Methodology, this is a version or your product or service that cost you a marginal fraction of what it would have cost you to create a full product. An MVP allows you validate assumptions you have made about your business. Assumptions which are in fact risks your business faces.
An example of a popular MVP was the explainer video put up by the creators of Dropbox when they decided to start their service. In order to test the assumption that people will purchase, they created a video explaining what their product did. The video concentrated on communicating how they ‘intended’ to solve a pain point that they ‘assumed’ clients had. Their signups increased overnight from 5000 to 75,000 all this without the real product even existing.
What better way to take the stress away from guessing and assuming.
Your MVP could be something as simple as an explainer video on your website on how your product will work; you can validate or invalidate your idea from the numbers in sign-ups or clicks to download.
You can create simple versions of your product and try and sell it to people.
This MVP allows you eliminate the risks associated with whether or not an aspect of your business will be viable or not.
Read more on MVP examples here
Need help figuring out your business idea and validating it? Contact us for a Chat.
Photo Credit: Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash