Validating your business idea
If you've got a business or product idea it's easy to get carried away and invest time and often money without really considering the viability of the idea - until it's too late.
I've had the privilege of working with a number of start-ups over the years, and the same key questions and discussion points crop up time and again. Whilst this is not a definitive or structured list, I'd like to share some of these points:
- What is the product idea?
- What is the need that you're trying to fill?
- What does it do and how?
- What's the benefits of the product?
- Who is the target market? Where are they?
- Who are the different users and what's in it for them? Why would they use it?
- How big is the market opportunity?
- What market research or customer validation have you done?
- What is the revenue model?
- How much will customers pay for it and how many?
- What support/training will customers need to use it?
- Why has this not been done before?
- Who are the competitors/similar products? Pros and cons? Strengths and weaknesses?
- How much will it cost to build, market, and grow market share?
- What is the sales cycle i.e. large slow long sale or quick run rate?
- What skills are required?
- What's to stop someone else copying the product?
- Can the idea be protected i.e. trademark, patent?
- What do you want to do? What's the longer term plan for this business?
If possible, get someone you respect to ask you the questions - don't do this yourself. If you have a business idea, being forced to justify it early on to someone else will add confidence or doubts when it's really needed.
If you're interested in chatting (confidentially) about your idea, and for some impartial feedback and advice, reach out on LinkedIn and let's grab a coffee sometime!