It came unexpectedly. You were taking a shower and listening to your favorite playlist while your most awaited ‘Ah-ha’ moment came! You have a brilliant business idea. No one else has done it before. It’s unbelievable. You’re proud of yourself!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.
To turn your idea into a solid business that brings you profit, you need to undergo some validation first. It is not enough that you have a unique idea (probably a new product or service). There are several things you should consider and questions you should answer. Is it something people need? Who will most likely buy it? How are you going to test it? Will it be profitable?
Before you raise money to fund your business, you want to know whether it is feasible or not. Check out the following steps to validate your business idea.
Check whether someone else has had a similar idea.
The last thing you want to happen is to find out that another company has the very same business concept as you are and they are already doing it for some time. The easiest way to check if you really are the first is to do an online search. It doesn’t mean however that just because another company is already offering it doesn’t mean you cannot pursue your business idea anymore. Look at how your potential customers are doing things. You might have something new and better to offer your target market, such as better customer service, lower prices, quicker services, etc.
Identify your niche.
Or, you might want to focus on a particular niche – the one that is not yet catered by your competition. For example, you want to create a buying-and-selling app with some innovative features. There are tons of similar apps out there. The thing is you don’t have to cater to everybody. Many businesses thrive by focusing on a single niche – say women ages 25 to 50, athletes, sports teams, children, etc. You may want an app that caters to moms and babies only, and so on. Identifying your niche is critical to know whether you have a solid business idea and assessing your competition.
Leverage your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.
To succeed in your business, you must focus on your strengths – skills and talent. Leveraging on your strengths will surely get you on top of the game because you know you’re good at it and that alone will help unlock your creativity. At the same time, you have to admit that you can’t do it all. Instead of spending so much time on tasks or areas that you are not an expert with, you want to simply outsource them so you can focus on what you do best.
Forecast your expenses and revenue.
You want to know how much you need to get started. Determine whether you have enough savings to fund your business. But If your savings and emergency funds aren’t, there can be some alternative ways like personal loans online, calculating the cost and potential revenue helps get your application approved easily.
Have a competitive advantage.
Your goal is to stay on top of the competition. But what does it take to distinguish your business from the rest? Gaining a competitive advantage requires a lot of planning, extensive research, and of course, marketing. Start by learning about your competition, particularly their strengths and weaknesses. Second, understand your customers – from their demographics to their behavior. Third, seek professional advice if needed. Learn as much as you can about running a business, particularly the financial aspect.
Build an MVP.
Business success starts with a great idea. But how to implement it is really the big question. Bringing a new product to the market is always a BIG risk. That is why it is advisable to build the minimum viable product (MVP) first and test it out. This way, you could gather feedback, know whether your product appeals to your target market, and learn how to further improve your product.
Gather the feedback.
This is a very important step that you shouldn’t miss. Get feedback from family, friends and potential customers. You may set up a survey online to gain feedback from a wider audience. Basically, you want to know whether your business idea caters to the needs and expectations of your potential customers.
Once you’ve validated your business idea, it’s time to make it work. You will have to invest a lot of time and resources to introduce your product and attract customers. It is going to be a tough roller coaster ride at first, but once you develop systems and practices, and find out which strategies work best for your business, you’re on your way to success.
Lidia Staron has been working as a writer, editor and literary coach for 5 years. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making process. You can find really professional insights in her writings.