Not quite sure about your business idea? Validation, the process of using channels like experimentation and user testing to learn more about your idea’s feasibility, can help guide you.
The Validation Process
To begin with, identify what you’re validating
Define your goals by identifying the problem you’d like to solve. What core features would a valuable solution possess? Generate a business model and a pricing and revenue model to help you assess.
Map out your assumptions
Identifying your goals can also uncover your assumptions. Ask yourself: who’s my target audience? What assumptions have I made about them? Why is my product valuable? What sets it apart?
Categorize your assumptions
- Desirability: If no one wants it, why make it?
- Viability: If the customer won’t pay for it who will?
- Feasibility: Can your product/service be implemented?
Prioritize your most critical assumptions
Separate out the assumptions that are critical to the functioning of your business and validate them ASAP.
Transform your assumptions into hypotheses
A hypothesis is a testable statement—AKA, your best guess about what will happen in an experiment. It should take the form of a cause and effect “if… then…” statement and include a measurable target.
Design the relevant experiments to test your hypotheses
Clarify your OMTM (one metric that matters), define your target audience, and outline what, exactly, would validate your hypothesis.
Now you’re ready to choose your experiments. Well-known techniques include:
- Picnic in the graveyard: Learn from past failed projects to harness existing lessons while avoiding the same mistakes.
- Customer interviews: Conduct short interviews composed of open-ended questions to help you better understand user context.
- Test ad campaign and landing page: Run a test ad campaign on social media to measure how efficiently you can communicate your message and to gauge interest. Create a landing page describing your business’ value proposition. Then, compare engagement rates using a tool like Google Analytics.
- Feature sorting cards: Gain insights about how your product/service features should be organized with sorting cards. Define a list of priority features and create cards corresponding to each. Then, find out what matters most to your customers by having focus groups sort the cards as they see fit.
Other experimental techniques you can use include crowdfunding platforms, pre-sales, mockups, and product simulations—to name a few.
Whatever technique(s) you choose, know that you’re doing your potential business a great service by educating yourself before you launch!
A YES Business Coach can help guide you through the steps to validate your business idea. Contact us for more info!