Research and test your business idea before you invest a lot of time and money. You might believe your idea is better than Facebook and maybe it is, but don’t get carried away! You will not become the next unicorn and beat Facebook overnight. Let’s not forget there were other social media platforms out there before Facebook came around. I seem to remember one called Friends Reunited before Facebook! It was more or less the same concept right? I personally never used it but where are they now? Exactly!
The point I was trying to make is, no matter how great your idea is, you must research it first! If you go ahead and start the business, you will need all that information to put together a Business Plan so it is not a waste of time!
Researching your idea
The best place to start researching is of course online, also called desk research. I don’t really like to say it’s free as you still need to invest time so let’s call it inexpensive.
Desk research ideas:
– What’s the market size?
– Are you targeting a specific niche within that market? What’s the size of the niche?
– How will you reach that niche?
– How will you advertise?
– What’s the advertisement cost?
– Do you need a marketing agency or can you do it yourself?
– Do you have the skills to do it yourself?
– Who is your competition?
– How long have they been trading?
– How fast are they growing?
– Are you offering something they don’t?
– Will your product/service be competitive?
– What are the key risks you are facing?
– And so on and on depending on your business idea
If you are satisfied with the desk research you can also do some field research.
You can hire a marketing agency or you can try it yourself.
– Try Face to face interviews with potential customers and see their reaction.
– Observe buying patterns.
– Try Focus Groups. They tend to be great if you want to test a design, pricing and packaging.
– Or try to test the market. For example, if you are offering bookkeeping services, try to approach a few small businesses in your local area. Don’t try however to approach large businesses as they would have their own in-house bookkeepers
Lastly, don’t forget! It doesn’t matter how great your idea is, you must ensure you know how to turn it into the next unicorn! You can’t do everything yourself, make sure you have the right advisors, investors, tools and so on!
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