From the inception of a tech startup idea to blueprints of the vision, the day you get to open your doors to customers is the day you know you’ve made it, no matter the size of the crowd in line. Startup culture and the business industry truly are in no shortage of bright young minds and ideas.
As shown on many social media networks, more and more people are deciding to ditch the good ol’ 9 to 5 special, for something much more exciting, and well, riskier, quite frankly.
We all know what successful aftermath looks like, but what about the behind-the-scenes lows? Ideas cut short? The numerous lows before the ever so rare high?
It’s much more inspiring to see a company’s conception and struggle, before celebrating any victory. Validating a business idea doesn’t come from there but from practice. And practice takes time and a whole lot of failure before anything even begins to seem like it’s working.
With any set of great ideas comes an equal set of questions and uncertainties. Which questions need answers beforehand, and which questions can we answer as we go? Validating your ideas is a 50/50 game – 50% being the theory and 50% practice. So, without any further ado, let’s do what it takes to not only validate your idea but to profit off of it as well.
Risks and Uncertainty
The best entrepreneurs are the ones who remain focused on things that really matter to them! If you have an idea and a few moralistic aspects of that idea, all business aside, always try to hold on to it, and never let it go.
It’s very easy to lose sight of what made you want all of this success once you’ve first tasted it.
That’s where the uncertainty strikes first – things you are unsure of. For example, what’s the price of your idea, the timeframe, or even manpower? How many people do you require, do you need to quit your everyday job or rent out a place?
What no one tells you about starting your own business is how messy it can get! The brainstorming, planning, lack of organization, budget cuts, emails, not to mention all the coffee stains on paperwork – all an endless series of experiments most of which are bound to fail.
But not to worry, because failure is good, it means you are on the right track. It’s like checking off your To-Do list, so you know what not to do in the future. But once one of those little experiments end up succeeding, you’ll have a brand new level of expertise to start building on. Even the biggest of businesses make mistakes, it’s inevitable. But that’s how to cure this enormous fear of taking a big leap. It’s by putting your gut and talent before that run-of-the-mill security.
The best way to cure the fear of taking risks is to accept the fact that you’ll fail, many times. But in each failure lies an important lesson or even inspiration for something that just might end up being your business’s origin story. And just like that, in due time, your own setbacks will become well-informed experiences you’ll use to better your brand and straighten your business strategy.
Validating Your Idea
Or as we like to call it, product validation. From a social point of view, validation comes from getting real-life thumb-ups from your surrounding. In the business world, it means your product is worth a try, or even an investment. If you manage to pull off a couple of CEO heads turning your brand’s way, it can only create more anticipation around what you’ll do next.
But in order to get this recognition, you first have to share your ideas with the right set of eyes and ears. Meaning the wrong crowd might take advantage of your originality, as there are only a few folks in this savage industry that you can trust. After all, when was the last time you’ve heard someone preach about trust and businessmen in the same sentence?
“The best way to sell people something is by finding their pain and then selling a solution to their pain”.
In addition to that extremely clever but ever so tone-deaf quote…What’s the core idea behind your startup? Who has inspired you to say, “Hey, this person looks like they need my idea, my product”…
It all comes back to that fundamental idea, that you’ll use as a solid foundation to build a business house upon. Without it, we all know what happens to buildings with no steady foundation…So, find the wound and the pain, think of a cure and package it in some cutting-edge marketing design that’ll look too shiny to ignore. And that’s the business validation you’ve been dying to get. Easier said than done, touché. But would it kill you to just try?
Evaluate Your Product
Everything man-made on this Earth required resources, loads of ‘em. And the business world is no different. But this validation process might take a bit longer to sustain. This is why evaluating your product market is super important. Do the maths so that later you could count the coins.
Proof of Concept
Before an idea’s execution, it’s super important to conduct certain experiments that would show your product’s sustainability level, as well as its potential. The fundamental aim is to be sure that a certain idea or theory has practical and profitable potential marketing and sales-wise.
In other words, no matter how creative or good quality a product is, if it’s not a demand of the greater public, you’ll have a hard time making a buck from it. And it doesn’t even end there. If we take a look at a massive brand, such as Apple – you’ll most certainly find a lot of folks saying that iPhones are “just a logo” at this point.
“People are paying 1000 bucks for the aesthetics of an iPhone, not the actual product. Samsung is much better in quality.” We’ve all heard that one about a million times by now.
But the better topic for conversation is this: What made Apple such an aesthetic and commercial success, to begin with? After all, there must have been some demand for it, if so many people are spending so much money on their products. To put things into perspective, here’s the equation we’re looking at: It had curiosity-provoking branding, innovative quality, and to top it all off, MAJOR promotion through multiple media outlets within pop culture.
And we’re talking films, music videos, celebrity sponsorships, Times Square billboards, all the way to some of the biggest tech magazines and companies. Whatever outlet was pulling massive mainstream numbers, Apple products were a part of it. You name it and they have done it. And although this is just a grand example, the message is quite clear: Scout your market, calculate the demand, and put your idea in the middle of it. How’s it looking?
Once in action, your business needs a safety net to fall on. A scalable business implies that a brand has the power to increase sales due to its sustainable amount of resources. This means that you, as a successful business, can maintain that success and sales rate by constantly having a good balance between the public’s demand and the physical products in-store.
Continuing with the same example as before, Apple sure has listened to what the people wanted. And even when they’ve added a completely new idea to the bunch, it still managed to pull massive numbers.
AirPods, for example, were heavily hated when first introduced online. But when people tested them out upon release, they’ve realized it’s all they wanted, functionality-wise. Apple listened in between the lines and created a product that would be more functional and practical for the average person on the go. Thinking ahead is an understatement, as you just might need a notebook planner in the shape of a person to help you execute this practice.
Evaluate Your Market
“Giving the people what they want” is much easier said than done. But when done, boy is the market validation worth the hassle.
As we’ve mentioned above, calculating the demand and then fitting your product right into that narrative is really important. But how do we go about this? How do you just “scout” millions of people?
By keeping your clients close, but your competitors closer.
And we know, you really should avoid straight-up copying your competition. But this practice has nothing to do with the products, but how they are being marketed and, even more importantly, to whom. Having a list of dozens of your competitors and studying their ways of product execution on social media for example will give you a rough idea of how to handle such a rollout. Mix that with your own original ideas and bam – you have yourself a startup in action.
What are the main three things you need to create and conquer before hitting the startup road?
- An attractive product;
- Sustainable resources and researched market;
- A top-notch marketing scheme and rollout plan;
And the rest? The rest of the recipe is a gallon of hard work, three tablespoons of dedication and innovative ideas, and just a pinch of creativity. And if you have faith and some supportive folks around you, chances are that validation is just around the corner.