Starting your own business can often be a synonym of struggle, but it's also an extraordinary adventure. One step forward and two steps back (and vice versa), without giving up, is the strength of entrepreneurs. And no matter what your business area, managing your time and and energy is crucial. 1001 startups shares 3 indispensable steps for testing out your idea before launching.
1 – Your ideaEntrepreneurs have ideas to spare, but putting them in place needs rigour, and more importantly, research! Ask yourself the right questions...
Does your idea answer a real market need?Next, think about what makes your idea "special". Don't try to deny it, you have probably got a lot of competition, or you will have very soon, so you will need to know how to react and adapt. Learn to recognise your strengths and weaknesses, then use these strengths and the elements that help you to stand out from the competition to add value to your idea. You can't please everyone... but that's not a bad thing! Define your target audience and then offer them your services. Find early adopters who would be happy to test out your idea. Don't forget to listen to them... They offer an invaluable new point of view regarding your concept. They can provide important feedback which can allow you to adjust your concept. If they're satisfied, they won't hesitate to talk about you to others and spread the word. "It's also important to define your value proposition, explaining how your concept resolves problems and caters to clients' needs. It's a promise you are making to your clients. On their website, Airbnb makes a promise: "Rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 191+ countries. Feel at home anywhere you go in the world with Airbnb." "Thanks to this promise, clients are willing to give it a go", explains Freddy Rico, expert in startup creation and web marketing at 1001startups.
2 – Talk about it!Your first reflex will be to talk about your project with your family and friends... Big mistake! Those close to you will probably tell you that everything is amazing and there's nothing standing in your way. Unfortunately, all too often, this is not the case.
Get yourself out there and talk to people who aren't involved in your project!These people will give you honest feedback. If you want to meet professionals in your area of expertise, there's no secret, get yourself out there! Go to networking events, conferences, startup weekends, etc. The more you test your idea, the more opportunities you will have to improve, thanks to remarks and suggestions from others. You should also create a landing page if you want to test out your idea, because it's not enough just to talk about it: you need to be visible! On this page give simple and direct information answering the following questions: what, how and why. This will allow internet users to have a better understanding of your project and allow you to get your hands on email addresses from people who are potentially interested. If you receive a lot of emails, there's no point questioning it: move on to the next step. According to Freddy, "this step will give you insight and allow you to make your product/service cater to a real demand. Keep your ears open and be willing to listen to advice! Too many people make the mistake of only listening to what they want to hear."