You feel that you are ready to launch your new business idea. It’s an exciting time, yes. But how do you really know if you’re ready? Financially speaking, it is very important that you test your idea before you commit to a major release.
The knowledge you gain by trying your idea will help you determine if it can work in the market and in turn can polish your business plan. In addition, it will prepare you for success preemptively, you will identify potential problems and will minimize the risks. And hopefully, it will lower your anxiety.
Use one or more of the following strategies to test your idea, product or service:
1. Share your Idea with a Venture
VCs are brutally honest. That’s why it’s a great opportunity that will present your business idea to a few investors. They do not lie or hide their feelings when evaluating your idea. Show them your business plan or product. What do you think of your plan?
The advantage of engaging them is that these investors are talented in the rapid identification of holes and / or issues. If you forgot to address something important, they will tell you. If you are interested, it’s a great sign. What you learn will help you be a better entrepreneur.
2. Shows your Idea to Retailers or Distributors
Retailers are at the forefront of distribution: they have a unique understanding of what they like and dislike consumers because, literally, see what sells and what does not. They know what consumers want. They know what consumers are asking for.
Your idea has to be easy to understand when present retailers. If you have a prototype made, need not be polished. Sketches can even work. On a quiet day shopping, visit a store where you think your product could be sold. What do you think? Is it a good idea? Is it a bad idea? These people are in the trenches every day. They will tell you if your product is great or stinks. You can go a step further and try to get a dealer to place your order. Would they actually take your product?
3. Try to get a License for your Product
Even if you decided to pursue your product or idea without a license, you can get valuable information to share with potential licensees. If you are intrigued, it means you have a solid idea. Licensees know what a good idea when they see it. You can find a partner to help you with the sale, distribution or manufacture.
4. Get Consumer Information
Get closer to your target audience. Not only friends and family, also to people who want to buy or use your product or service. They are much less likely to be biased.
While not necessarily have to follow to the letter all the feedback you get, you should definitely consider the relieved and put some of it into practice. It is impossible not to learn something productive to interact with potential customers.
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