Every great product or service was once an idea someone believed in, and worked hard for to turn it into reality.
While ideas are powerful and are the very first step on your journey to creating a home-based business, they are not enough.
In fact, the whole thing can go wrong if your first step isn’t validated.
Meaning, you should check if there’s a market for what you’re about to invest your time in.To see if there’s potential in it. To see if you’re interested enough so that you can be focused on it long enough.
All these are crucial as without any of these components, creating a profitable business is impossible.
Luckily, the process to validating your next online business idea is quite simple. Just follow the set of steps below and you’ll be good to go:
1. Combine skills and passion.
Passion is powerful. And in this case, it’s a necessary ingredient for staying consistent with your project and making sure you invest enough of your time and energy in it.
But skills matter too.
Before you move onto checking if there’s a market for this, see if you’re actually using your strengths and talents effectively.
To turn this into something real, you’ll need to be developing skills and learning stuff along the way too. But you need to at least be slightly good at one aspect related to the future business, together with the interest you have for the niche.
Be it coding, writing, sales, managing people, or else.
Find what that is and use it to your advantage.
When passion and skill are combined, big things can come out of this when hard work is invested too.
2. Define the problem.
Value comes before money.
It’s the basic principle behind all big brands and successful companies. And you can’t go without defining a problem clearly and making sure you’re somehow solving it with your product or service.
Here’s where passion comes in handy. Many startup founders, for instance, began by looking for a solution for something they struggled with. Once they created it, they realized there are other people out there who can benefit from that. And shared their creation with the world.
To make sure what you’re doing will be used by people, know how it will improve their lives.
Will it save them time in their busy day?
Will it help them manage their workload better, or write better emails so that they can land new clients more often?
Maybe it will teach them tricks on how to save money by living frugally? Or will improve their mental health somehow.
This exercise is important as it will also help you define the features and benefits of your product/service and talk about them in details when you’re contacting your first potential customers, and later on when you’re creating your sales copy.
3. Find the competition and see what you can do better.
The presence of competition is a good sign.
It proves there’s market for that and people are already making money. Which means there are others out there willing to pay for something like that.
Actually, that’s your target audience so you’ve got a lot in common with your competitors.
But don’t copy what they are doing. Instead, notice and learn.
See what their marketing strategy is. Check out their reviews, pricing, branding, product features, etc.
Then, start brainstorming.
What are they missing and how can you provide it?
How does your product or service help the client more and how can you explain this to potential buyers?
4. Get feedback early on.
You don’t have the final say in this. Those who’ll be paying for it do.
So it’s time to talk to them and see what you’re missing and what more you can add before you create the first version of your product.
Contact potential users personally, either on social media, via email (if they’ve allowed you to use this form of contact), or go on forums and comment under relevant threads to see who’s interested in learning more.
Make sure you provide value to these people first before you ask for feedback.
What does this mean?
Usually, it’s best to give them lifetime access, free trial, free product sample, or else. Then, just ask them what they think about it.
They’ll appreciate it and contribute with their honest opinion.
Now, listen carefully to their words. Let go of what you think is right, don’t judge.
Write everything down and consider these instructions on how to best build and offer your first product.
5. Build the MVP.
Only after these steps are taken and everything still seems promising, can you move onto actually building something.
But invest as little money and time in it as possible. This will only be to test the market. It’s called MVP – minimum viable product.
It won’t include many features. Just put your product out there and let it do this one thing it’s supposed to do best. See how people react.
From then on, by constantly gathering feedback, you’ll be upgrading it.
That’s how you validate a business idea.
You hold the power to transform your life!