Remember the saying “Think before you act”, idea validation is thinking before the act of executing it.
You see the world brimming with ideas and innovations. Unique inventions and start-ups that leave you astonished are surfacing every day. In this pressure of validating if your idea meets the high standards set by your surroundings, you need some guidelines.
There is always confusion and hesitancy among the entrepreneurs, business owners and start-up founders regarding their ideas. Am I doing this right? Will this increase my influx of money? Is this idea good?
An idea that has the goal for sustainable business has three basic ingredients: desirability, feasibility, viability.
Pillars of Idea Validation
The role of desirability for whatever products or services you want to sell is vital. The demand and requirement of the service you are willing to provide should be sufficient. The market demand and your objective for the business should align.
The desirability is not limited to this. If your product or service is not something new but is aimed at solving the complexity and disorientation in the existing situation then also it will be received well.
Feasibility is important to understand so that you can stretch your legs according to the length of the blanket. Your resources and partners should be able to afford the production and development of your idea.
This helps to specify how the idea can be implemented and executed. You need to adjust the rate, launch and spread of your idea according to the feasibility.
Along with this, there should be some clarity on ROI. A strong possibility of a good return on investment should be there.
Viability in literal terms refers to the ability to survive successfully. That is the ultimate goal of any company or business. The decisions and strategies you implement will affect the viability of your venture.
Your short-term or long-term actions and judgments will decide your sustenance in the market. Efficiency and smooth transitioning from early-stage to final-stage of business will be determined by this.
What if You Don’t Validate Your Idea?
Remember the saying “Think before you act”, idea validation is thinking before the act of executing it. You can easily resonate this with any life situation where you acted before thinking. What did you earn?
Regrets, loss and remorse. Are you ready to experience that in terms of your business where it would translate to risking money, time-wasting and loss of confidence? Hope the answer is no.
Many intrapreneurs skip the step of idea validation because they are focusing on strategies and implementing their idea. They think to go with your gut feeling and fall into the trap.
The trap is believing that the idea is close to you and we do not challenge it beyond a point. The benefits of idea validation are plenty. And the disadvantages of not utilising them are plenty as well.
When you are thinking about your idea day and night it is very obvious to become obsessive with it. When you start believing in your idea blindly you lose the capacity to criticise and analyse it. With idea validation, you’ll be able to detect flaws and improve on them before they reach the market.
Idea validation is not giving a guarantee that your business would be a success but provides an opportunity for you to comprehend your time and money on a profitable start-up. This will help in minimising the cost and ensuring whether your idea has real demand or not.
How to Validate Your Idea Based on the Step of Your Business?
This stage represents That you don’t have a way to sell or explain your idea other than by verbal or written communication.
You don’t have perfect clarity about what your idea aims to achieve, core team, business model launch plan and financial aid. You may have some of it ready but not all.
This is the stage that will encourage you to conduct research and market analysis on the product and services you are going to provide. This will include lengthy brainstorming and surveying sessions. Also, mentoring and advice from people who are in the same business you are trying to target will also be helpful.
For analysing and researching your idea, you will need to interact with potential customers, users and experts. User interactions could be face-to-face telephonic or in the form of surveys and discussion. Secondary research through the internet or related reports and case studies could also be done.
Differentiate carefully between the user and customer. The customer is the one who will pay for the product or service but the user would be the one giving you insight into your product.
When it comes to discussing or brainstorming your idea you will have three types of people around you. One type would comprise people who love you, the second type would be the one that hates you and the third type would be who knows you.
Make sure to never receive any advice or discuss your idea from the people belonging to the first two types. People who love you won’t give you frank feedback and those who hate you will discourage you. However, the third one who knows you and understands the market well would not be biased and would give you constructive criticism to work on.
2. Launch Stage
This stage ensures that you have figured out your idea, business model and all other requirements which were not fulfilled during the early stage. You are now ready to launch your proof of concept. Demonstrating your sample and how it will resolve the problem falls under the stage.
Don’t spend too much money on producing many products because it is obvious that the product is not final with all the features. The product has just sufficient characteristics to demonstrate your idea through.
This stage will require you to hire part-time workers or gig resources. The mentors or experts you consult from would be just for a few hours a month to get valuable inputs. Launching your product or services would be in a close group and through indirect channels. There is no establishing your own distribution channel.
Your ultimate objective is to demonstrate the features of your product and to convey that it can solve the problem of your customers. The price and costing are still not decided and may be expensive because the focus is not on volumes yet.
You will get validation from the feedback you will receive from the users and customers. This will throw light on your flaws and gaps in the idea and you can improve on them. A reality check and scope of improvement to ensure that the final product meets the expectations is crucial.
3. Growth Stage
This stage means that the full version of your product is ready. There could still be variants present to provide options to the user. The idea is clear and majorly executed for small groups of customers.
There is still an absence of commitment for long-term cost so hiring part-time resources and teams it’s possible.
Developing traction while meeting the goals and objectives of the business is mandatory. Significant progress on a daily and monthly basis is required so repeating users and having referral customers should be ensured. The cost of your services has been established and year users are able to resolve the problems with the help of the said services.
You need to show that you have mastered this idea in a small geography and user base and are capable of upgrading the scale in other parts. A wealth of knowledge on launching more services and valid information to experiment while scaling is in your hands now. In other words, this is known as a Minimum Viable Product
This helps to collect maximum validated information about the customers with a reduced amount of effort. MVP has a central role in the agile development of the product. This will help to release the product quickly, testing the idea before it is exposed to a larger budget and audience and knowing what resonates with the market and what doesn’t.
The growth stage opens investment money in your business through investors or a network of relatives. Desirability and feasibility have been established so your path for viability is cleared.
This is how you can plan and validate your ideas based on the stage of your company. As mentioned, validating your idea before execution is a smart and civil move.
Idea validation is the step in a startup or any new venture that is not to be skipped but to be shipped into the process. You have no loss from implementing this and only benefits.
The idea you believe is revolutionary, will not become dull and boring with idea validation. It will make the possibility of executing it real and transparent. There are resources and help available.
You can gain an advantage from validating your idea and formulating your business model better. A good start is half the work done. So make sure your start is informed and validated.
Idea Validation PDF from MSMEx –
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