20 Oct The importance of testing your idea before launching
StartupGuy shares some invaluable thoughts on why you really need to test out your business idea first before launching your business.
You may think your business idea is going to change the world, but before you spend time and money developing a lacklustre product or service, startuppers and entrepreneurs must be sure that their great idea is applicable to their target market. Many research consultants, like us, recommend startuppers to test and forecast their idea’s potential before launching.
How to test for small businesses? You might consider the following steps:
Ask yourself the right questions
First of all, you must analyse every single aspect of your business by asking yourself the following questions:
Why do I want to start a business?
How will I be useful with my business idea?
What are my business purposes and what resources do I have in order to obtain them? Who is my target audience?
Once you answer your questions, you will feel more confident in your consideration to start your business. This step is considered the most significant because confidence is key in embarking on a new venture.
Recognise your competitors.
It’s a good idea to understand strategies of startups similar to yours. By looking at other startups, you can see what has succeeded in the past, and what has not. Through this stage, you are able to avoid the risk of a failed plan; also, you understand how to make your business idea unique in order to create a solid customer database. However, if for instance you see too many competitors in the market selected, it means the market is saturated and your business idea might face several risks.
Assess your capital
Most of the time, startuppers and entrepreneurs cover the initial costs of their business ideas with personal funds, family’s support, banks and loan agreements. Regarding the latter, there are lots of loan programs for small businesses and startups (especially in the South African market), but nowadays, in order to convince them that your business idea is operable, you need to create a business plan that shows how you will spend the money lent to you and what is your expected ROI (Return Of Investment) in a given time frame.
Test out your tailored market and audience
You must effectively identify your ideal customer to better understand your target market. You should consider conducting consumer research in different areas, with the aim to define the ideal customer for the product or service you would like to offer. Make sure you know everything about them (gender, age, socio-economic class, location, habits, etc.). With your target audience and market in mind, you can better create a strategy for your product/service that satisfies customers’ needs. Startup Mzansi usually recommends surveying at least 100 potential customers with a short questionnaire (approx. 10 questions), to see their reaction to your business idea through basic information of your product or service.
Learn to be honest with yourself
Consider the results of your market research with moral correctness. Pay particular attention to feedback from people who tell you they don’t like aspects of your product or service, such as price, packaging, etc.
Once you have tested out your business idea, do not forget to keep in mind all information you collected. It is also important you remember the answers to your questions in the first stage. Potential customers need to “feel” your product/service through adverts on social media, websites, forums and everything else with your brand logo on it.
If your business idea is not as great as you first thought, it is better to find this out before you dedicate your time and money. Do not forget that “great success is built on failure, frustration even catastrophy”.
If you would like to find out more about Startup Mzansi services for startups and small businesses, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a free quote for your tailored market research.