5 steps to test your business idea
When you’re in business for long enough, you’ll likely come up with new ideas you want to try. Innovation is important for your company to grow, to diversify its income, and to attract new customers. An important step between having an idea and jumping into it is testing the idea.
Here are some important ways to test your idea, so you can launch it with confidence.
1. Talk to people
One of the best ways to test your idea is to share it with people, internal and external to your company.
You’ll need to talk to people internally to find out if your company and team have the necessary skills, capacity, and equipment to carry out your vision. Your people may also have additional insight or ideas for things that could work, and suggestions for avoiding possible pitfalls.
Talk to your customers or clients as well, to get their feedback. Ask some important questions:
- Is your new product or service something they could or would use?
- Is it something they would pay for?
- Does it solve a pain point for them?
2. Set your budget
Have a budget to develop your new product or service and make sure part of that budget is set aside for testing. You may have to set aside a few weeks for testing, but it’s worth it in the long run before you dive into an unproven idea. Showing yourself your idea is profitable gives you increased confidence moving forward.
3. Determine what resources you need
If you’re trying something new, chances are you’ll have to expand your resources in some way. If you’re building a new product, you may need to purchase new equipment or materials. If you’re adding a new service or location, you may have to hire new staff with additional qualifications.
Conduct a needs assessment to determine what resources you’ll need to be successful in the venture. Then conduct a gap analysis to determine which resources are already accessible to you and which you’ll need to source.
4. Build a prototype or test service
Choose 50 potential target clients to test your product or service and ask them to be really critical of it. You want all their thoughts on your idea, not just positive ones. The people testing it should feel free to express any issues they noticed, so you can build the best possible solution for them.
5. Embrace failure
Being comfortable with failure allows you to take risks and try new things. Embrace the idea that your new product or service won’t be perfect immediately, but with some constructive feedback and testing you can tweak it so that it works.
Rather than focusing on the possibility of failure, focus on the idea of experimenting to make things work better. As a result, you’ll be more open to new ideas and pursuing innovation.
Successful businesses are built on innovative ideas, and it’s important to embrace great ideas. That said, with careful planning and testing you can increase your chances of success in the long run. If you have an idea for your business, these five tips will help you refine it so you can move forward.