Startup Corner

Validating your great idea

Uzair Khan

Just having a business idea won’t make you rich or successful; having the right business idea will. How will you know if you have a good idea? Validate it. This first pillar is absolutely critical.

In the long run, you’ll save time and resources and avoid ever pitching a failing idea to investors. So to have a brilliant pitch, you have to set the foundation with the right business idea.

So, how should you validate that you’ve come up with a life-changing business idea?

Use Google before anything else

The moment the genius idea strikes, rush to Google to check the following:

  1. Keywords

There is a tool called Google Keyword Planner that gives you insights into what people are searching related to your product, as well as search volume. Not only will this give you an idea of what people are thinking and searching, it will also give you the opportunity to tweak your product idea as per the demand.

Another simple way to find the keywords related to your industry is to look for “searches related to” section in the bottom of the page on Google.

Both these ways can help you understand more about people’s opinions/take/issue with a specific product or industry.

  1. Google Trends

Now that you have got some good keywords with you, it’s time to check if they are trending in your country/capital/region. Go to Google Trends and search for the keywords and select the country where you want to see the trends.

  1. Market research

Spend some time conducting market research. Search for statistics related to your product—trust me, you will find ample of data within a fraction of a second. Study the reports thoroughly and see who are your competitors (direct or indirect) who are delivering the same product or something similar to what you are thinking.

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Now, ask yourself three questions:

  • Was there enough search volume related to your idea?

The more search volume on your targeted keywords, the greater the demand in the market. If people are searching for terms related to your solution, that’s the first step toward validating that they would pay for the right one.

  • Is your idea similar to the existing competitors who also happen to dominate the market currently?

Every business has competitors. If you don’t think you have any for your idea, think more creatively or reconsider your solution—maybe there’s a good reason why no one is doing what you propose.

  • Does your business idea demonstrate unique value?

The more generic an idea, the more competitors you have to vie with, and the more marketing dollars you’ll waste. What’s your edge over your competitors? What is this one thing that keeps your customers coming back to you (that your competitors don’t have)?

After you successfully finish your research put on your best walking shoes and head out in the wild, a.k.a the real market.

Go for personal surveys

Go to a public place like a coffee shop or maybe a park and ask people if they use your competitors’ products. If they do, then what do they like about them the most? What do they dislike?

After carefully noting their responses (and not asking leading questions), give them your elevator pitch—the short and sweet version of your idea.

Request their contact information (if they are comfortable and you manage to do it without sounding creepy).

Tell them you will let them know when the final product will launch. There won’t be a greater validation at this stage than people willingly signing up for it.

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