“User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s under-valued & under-invested in. If you haven’t done your home-work (research), to be sure users really want your product, then you’ve killed your chances of success. Look for Experts who can analyse it’s benefits, then are passionate about it.– Evan Williams, Co-Founder, Twitter
STARTUP ADVICE TOPICS: A. Testing & Qualifying your Idea, B. How strong is your Idea? C. Putting your Product or Service out there for Review & Feedback, D. Pre-Launch.
Do you have a $M idea in your head, just waiting to be acted upon? Or will it be a complete bust — an idea with no actual potential for $$$ return? This question is one that stops many “would-be” Entrepreneurs in their tracks – before they even take the chance and launch their potential business ventures. Fortunately, it is possible to make a more educated guess on your idea’s likelihood of success or failure by taking the time to evaluate & qualify your idea before moving forward with it. Here are 20+ questions you can ask to qualify your startup idea — before you commit significant time, $$$ or other resources to its launch:
A. Testing & Qualifying your Idea
1. Why do Startups Fail?
#1) Target Market doesn’t need 42%, #2) ran out of $$$ 29%, #3) Inadequate Team 23%, #4) Beat by Competition 19%, #5) Price or Cost issues 18%, #6) Poor Product 17%, #7) weak Biz Model 17%, #8) poor Marketing 14%, 9) #Didn’t listen to Cust 13% & #10) Inadequate Financing 8%. (most Co’s have multi-issues) Make sure you addressing all the following, so you wont end up a Failure !!!
2. What Problem are you Solving?
If you can’t clearly state the problem your product or service solves, you probably don’t have a potentially successful idea.
3. How have others attempted to Solve this Problem?
Have they Succeeded or Failed” There’s a lot you can learn from those who have gone before you.
4. Does your Idea already “exist” ?
If a similar solution exists, how will yours be different? If you don’t have any clear differentiating benefits or features, you likely need a significantly modify or get a new idea.
5. How many specific Benefits for your Product or Idea can you List?
The more you can think of, the more likely it is that you’re meeting a real need and can be successful.
6. Can you identify the Target Market?
Who would benefit from your product or service? This is the beginning of Market Research — who do you actually know – that would use your idea? A general demographic isn’t enough, so take the time to hone in your Target Buyer personas.
7. Have you looked for Un- or Under-served Niches?
These niches have the highest market potential. While others might be oblivious to certain problems and be happy with the status quo, you can change the consumer behavior by making people realize that your product is something that they have always wanted, but never knew they wanted. [the Apple Theory]
8. What is the Size of the Market that will buy your product or service?
If you don’t know the size of the market, you have a lot of research ahead of you. Under-standing how many people need your idea — and what they’re willing to pay for it — will help you determine whether your concept is viable !!!
9. Have you used the Latest Trends to your Advantage?
Nobody wants to start into a dead or stagnant market. When you see the latest trend in a market, capitalize on it and incorporate it into your product. It will make your marketing easier, give your product more attraction and rake in lots of $$$.
10. Can you identify, the key Features of your product or service?
Not being able to easily describe the key features of your idea is a Warning sign that the idea isn’t well thought out yet. Take an Expert to Starbucks and buy them a coffee to hear you tell about your idea.
B. How strong is your Idea?
11. Who are your potential Competitors?
Having competitors isn’t a bad thing — it means a market exists. However, knowing what you’ll face if you launch is important, as an over–crowded marketplace or one where consumers have a strong affinity for the dominant brand may be more difficult to break into.
12. What key Features does your product or service have . . .
that others will have a hard time copying? Before you go into business, you need to be very clear about what sets you apart from your competitors.
13. Have you done a SWOT analysis?
Analyze the Strengths (compared to your Competition), Weaknesses (against Compet & your Organization), Opportunities for Success [from your Target Market (growing)] & Threats that your idea has (competition, conditions, etc), giving you a better idea of the overall likelihood for success.
14. Do you have a Mentor or Advisor/s that can help you?
When you start a new business, having the advice & encouragement of others in a similar industry can prevent unnecessary expenditures or mis-steps.
- Putting your Product or Service out there for Review & Feedback
- Beta Promotion Sites & Startup Directories
Beta Promotion sites like BetaList allow you to distribute your simple, pre-launch site amongst “early adopters” and then collect their sign-ups to participate in Beta testing and Customer Feedback campaigns.
15. Have you listed your product on Startup Communities?
You can list your idea or product on startup Communities like GetReview. The way it works is there are many Entrepreneurs there like you who are looking for feedback or have gone through that phase. They will be happy to help you out – assuming they can relate with your product, but you will be expected to critique their ideas as well.
16. Tried to earn Face-Time with Successful Entrepreneurs?
Leverage your Social Media & Professional networks—call in favors, complete free work for others, offer to organize mutual introductions—so that you earn the privilege to meet with some of the most successful people you know (preferably one-on-one – if not – then in a small group setting). If you’re unable to arrange a meeting on your own, then politely ask friends & family for introductions.
17. Have you reached out to potential Customers for Feedback?
Getting feedback before investing further time & $$$ can help you avoid creating a product or service that nobody really wants !!!
19. Can you set up a Landing page . . .
and encourage interested people to sign up for more information? This can be an easy & inexpensive way to test interest in a product or service. If a lot of people are interested, it’s a great sign that you’re on the right track !!!
20. Are you Ready?
Do you have Access to the various Resources .you need to Launch a business? While you don’t need to be rich to launch a business, you will need some combination of Time & $$$ – depending on the scope of your idea. If you have no way to access everything you need, you’re better off waiting to launch your company until you have developed your idea much further.
21. What would it take to build a MVP -Minimum Viable Product . . .
to test the market? One mistake many Entrepreneurs make is thinking that they have to launch a finished concept right away. Consider starting small, gauging interest, then iterating as you go.
22. Can you do it yourself ? or
do you have a Partner who can? B2B? Before launch, you need to know who’s actually going to produce the first set of products or services, as well as whether they can do so within your timing & budget.
23. Can you get “paying” Customers from your Target Market . . .
to “pre-order” – based on your info or proto? Pre-orders are a solid sign of Customer “commitment”. Someone saying they’re interested is one thing, but seeing people actually buy with their Credit Card or PO is a much stronger sign of potential long-term success.
24. What will it take to Break-Even or make a Profit?
Some ideas take a lot of upfront investment, while others don’t. If yours does, it’s a good idea to plan for how you’ll get your finances & daily needs while you’re waiting for your product or service to gain traction.
25. How can Investors in your idea make a Profit?
If you want others to join your business – to help you grow, they’ll have to know how they can benefit – a Business Plan or at least an Executive Summary. I could write one for you – as I have for many others.
Conclusions: It may take some time to come up with answers to all these questions, but once you have them, you should have a much better idea about how viable your idea is. If it passes these tests (Qualifies), Go for it !!! If not, keep working on it. Persistence wins !!!
Comments: Do you know any other ways to Test/Qualify\Validate & Pre-Launch a Startup?
from Entrepreneur, Quora & Feed 5/22 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, click on Starting a Business.