So, you’ve got an amazing idea for a product which is bound to revolutionize your niche, or even the entire industry?
Before investing in your solution, you need to validate your idea first.
This goes especially for SaaS business ideas where the market is really competitive and new products pop up all over the place.
If you set up a startup without understanding your target market, you risk that your idea gets lost in the crowd of startups which never make it past the first year of operation. In other words, you’ll expose your idea to serious risk. And that’s not a good starting point, right?
Here are 5 critical steps to help you validate your idea:
1. Define Your Target
You need to develop reliable profiles of your prospects. Your assumptions about this group of people won’t be enough. You need solid knowledge about who they are, what they want, and what are their key pain points.
When doing your homework about your target, focus on these questions:
- Where are they located?
- What is the size of the company?
- What is their business model?
- Which industry do they belong to?
- Are they likely to spend money on a solution that will help them solve this problem?
Reach out to these people and you’ll stand a better chance at understanding their situation. That’s how you’ll know whether your idea can become a product that benefits them.
2. Find Early Adopters, Here’s How
- You need to gather a group of people who will act as the early adopters of your solution. They’ll be the ones to tell you whether there’s market for it.
- Start with your colleagues and friends. If they’re not interested in your idea, ask them for referrals.
- Define your target customers and look for dedicated groups on social media. Join forums and LinkedIn groups which might be interested in your solution.
- Have a look at your list of LinkedIn contacts. That’s where you can browse for potential clients as well.
3. Get in Touch With Them
- Now that you’ve got your list of potential early adopters, it’s time to actually get in touch with them. At this point, you can choose between these two strategies: cold calling and cold emailing.
- Cold calling takes plenty of time because you’re reaching out to your prospects individually. But it’s really effective, so go for it if the group of people you plan to contact is rather small (up to 20).
- Cold emailing is more helpful if you need to contact more prospects. One click is enough to reach several people at the same time. Here you can read in details how cold emailing works.
- Still, cold calling takes plenty of time as well. You can only imagine how tricky it can be to follow up on dozens of responses. Get in touch with us if you need help in crafting your cold emailing campaign.
- Remember that nothing works better than contacting your prospects yourself. After all, you’re the best advocate for your idea.
4. Gather Your Feedback
- By interacting with the early adopters, you’ll get plenty of insights to mull over as your develop and refine your idea.
- What type of feedback can you expect?
- Negative responses from prospects mean that they aren’t likely to pay for your idea because it fails to solve their problem.
- Some prospects might provide you with suggestions on how to improve your solution. This means that you’re on the right track and your idea just needs a little more work.
- An overwhelmingly positive response to your idea means that it’s a solution your prospects were looking for to solve their pains. Good job!
5. Generate First Entries
- Once you make sure that you can turn your idea into a successful product, you can start generating your first entries.
- Go for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or prototype to get your first paying customers and save time on production. You can improve your product while it’s already on the market.
- It’s smart to offer free trials or discounts to give your target a chance to try your product.
When they see what benefits it brings to their organizations, they’re bound to become paying customers.
- Follow these 5 steps to validate your idea, check what your target thinks about the solution, and gather plenty of valuable feedback you’ll use to improve your product in the future.
About the author:
CEO & Founder @RightHello
We help B2B companies get more leads and close more deals
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