Wasting time and energy on an idea which has no future is frustrating and disappointing. To overcome that, every idea needs to go through a validation before being developed. A question that always comes to me is how can someone know if an idea is strong or not and which process should be followed to validate one’s business initiative.
If that is one of your biggest questions, keep on reading this post, because I am going to show you how to validate a business idea in three steps. Let’s go.
Generate a problem hypothesis
First of all, a business idea needs to be a solution for a problem. However, a situation I see being repeated over and over is that a business idea is often used to solve a personal problem. If you do not certify that a substantial number of people are having the same problem, then you’ll have a hard time validating your idea.
To find out if more people will be able to use your business idea as a solution, create a problem hypothesis. It consists in defining the profile of the group of people you want to achieve and imagine what sort of problem they might have. Some examples are:
- Restaurant owners have problems to dimension their stock;
- Fleet managers have problems to increase the efficiency of shipping;
- Freelancers have problems to plan a monthly budget;
- Busy people think it’s hard finding time to go to the gym, among others.
Note that, in all of the problems, there’s a group of people (the restaurant owners, the fleet managers and so on) for which an essential activity presents a difficulty to be performed and, mainly, this affects the results they seek.
Establish ways to attract people
By knowing who you want to achieve, it will be easier to understand what you need to know about these people to validate your idea. Although I am often asked about this, I don’t think the best (or only) option is to make surveys with people who have potential to incorporate your idea.
That’s why you barely have a highly qualified basis to your purposes and also because you take the risk of falling into the famous question “What do you think?” to people who don’t have a consumer profile.
In this case, you will need to establish ways to attract people of this group to you, and technology is a good tool for that. You can buy keywords in search engines and direct people to the so called landing pages, in which people provide some information and answer a research. Another option would be to announce your idea in a blog or specialized magazine, or even to use the good, old telephone to directly contact these people.
The intention is not to get clients, but acquiring information to validate your idea. Thus, make questions related to your idea and questions that provide relevant information to your situation. You can also take advantage of this to study concurrence by making questions about ideas competing with yours.
Find out what is the pain point of that group of people
Now that you have ways to get in touch with those who have the consumer profile of your idea, you must search for the source and the pattern of these people’s pain. What do I mean with this? I mean that you need to know what the challenges of these people are, why they haven’t achieved a solution yet and how their idea can fit into this somehow.
More than that, you need to find a pattern, that means, it’s needed that the pain point of a considerable number of people is recurrent and intense. By finding a relevant group of people with the same source and pattern of pain, which can be solved by your idea, you will find the validation you wish.
With three steps you will be already able to validate business ideas: you need to have a problem hypothesis, to attract your target audience so that you have information, and finally to know the source and pattern of these people’s pain point. If your idea goes through all these steps, it will be validated and ready to have a prototype developed.
How about you? Do you have any idea that needs validation, but you are not sure about its potential yet? What about telling me in the comments?