5 ways to validate your business ideas before launching in Nigeria
So you have a good idea, and you’re set to implement it. But just how sure are you that this business idea is viable?
So many entrepreneurs go all in for some business idea they were sure would be a record- setter, but end up being a huge bust in the market. You should never, NEVER, go into a business blindly. As brilliant as your business idea may seem to you; the reality of being an entrepreneur is that you just can’t predict if a business idea will succeed or not.
The most you can do is to prepare your products and services well before launching, and also validating your business idea to test for its viability.
Here are five proven ways to validate your business idea before launching in Nigeria.
- Get a mentor. Whether you’re a start up or not; you’re probably not an expert in your industry. So you’ll need someone with more experience and expertise in the industry to mentor you through this phase of your business. Your mentor should be able to tell whether or not your plans are worth pursuing after or not. He/she can tell you whether it’s or risky, what the market looks like, and what to do to be successful. By attaching yourself to a mentor, you can get a better idea of what your trajectory should be.
Pick the brains of industry experts. Are there other businesses like yours? Find out how they did it. Are there any business’secrets’ you can learn to set you on the right path? Find them.
- Ask the right questions. You don’t want to launch your startup based on some vague and half-baked ideas. Vague ideas and assumptions will certainly pose problems for your business and will also likely cause a rocky start for your business.
So, to start up on a sure footing, you should be asking yourself certain questions. The questions will help you determine the viability of your business idea. First ask yourself and then move on to more specific questions about your business.
These are the questions you should consider before you start your business.
- Why do I want to start a business?
- What problems will my business solve?
- Who is my target customer?
- What are my business’ goals?
- What resources do I have?
- Know your competitors. Its really important to study similar businesses like yours to actually find out what worked for them, and what didn’t. Do a thorough analysis of businesses similar to yours. Granted, it won’t be smart to be overly preoccupied with what your competitors are up to; still you need to able to gain valuable insight on how and what makes your competitors succeed in their businesses. By doing this, you can easily “fail-proof” your business idea.
To get a solid customer base, you should be able to show your customers how unique your business is. And how best to do this than assessing your competitors for possible flaws in their business?
- Assess the market. In assessing the market, first determine who your ideal customer is, to hone in on who will be interested in your product offerings.
One of the best ways to validate your business idea is to conduct a market analysis on your target market.
- Get feedback. Before you put your product out onto the market. First find out how your target market responds to your product. There are so many ways of validating your business idea through feedback.
Below are some strategic ways to get feedback from your target customers.
- Use social media. Use social media and content marketing to test the waters. To validate your business idea, take to the internet to see if it has a chance at succeeding. Post your ideas on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your other social media pages. Write about it on your personal blog if you have any.
- Create a test website. Thank God for the internet, you can actually spread the word about your products. Create a business website. Once the word is out about your product or business, the target market will need a place to get information about it or to show it to their friends. Building a simple website and using social media are ideal tools to provide information and monitor how many people are actually interested in what you are selling.
- Build a prototype or test service. The best way to validate your business idea is to build a prototype and show it to people to get some honest and authentic feedback.
- Build a minimum viable product. A minimum viable product is the simplest form of your idea that you can actually sell as product. You should have a version of your product to test and market early throughout the development stages, so that you can easily make changes and improvement based on feedback gotten from the target audience.
- Run it by a group of critics. When you’ve prepared your first prototype or test service; you can now take it to your potential target customers. You should talk to and/or survey at least 50 potential customers, to see if they identify with the problem the same way you do. In other words, you need to find out if it is a problem for a majority of your target market or just a chunk of the market. Select people who you know to be skeptical and critical.