A few days ago in a virtual space, far, far away…
“Hey Shirley, it’s great to see you again.”
“G, I have a really good idea for a new dessert. I’ll make a lot of money and finally get to buy that house on the beach…I feel like doing a table dance!”
“hmmm” I think quietly to myself.
“Shirley, who’s going to buy this dessert?” I ask
“Everyone’s going to buy it!”
“here we go” I think quietly to myself.
“You don’t think these will sell?” Shirley says defensively.
Running the risk of being a total Debbie Downer and trying not to kill her excitement, I asked Shirley to write down on a piece of paper who she thinks is going to buy her specialty dessert.
“Just list me 5 customer types…shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.”
Thirty minutes later I hear quietly “what the hell, I have no idea who’s going to buy my desserts!”
“Let’s take a break, have a glass of wine… we’ll figure this out.”
It took about 90 minutes of product validation research, writing up some ideal customer profiles and then Shirley was ready to start table dancing again.
The End.You think you have a really good product and it might be the next greatest thing to make history? Click To Tweet
Just look at J. K. Rowling!
Let’s see if your idea has what it takes.
Validating Your Product Idea
This is one of those things that you might think only a high end company that has big bucks can do. All that market research, focus groups and all that stuff. Well, yeah, if you have those types of resources, fine.
That’s not who I’m talking to.
Your office is shared between the dining room and bedroom, you love post it notes and have ideas coming out the wazoo! You love the idea of working from home and so you should.
When Joe and I quit the corporate world and went into business for ourselves, it was the best thing we could ever do. Back then, Google was just an idea and the internet was lighting fast through the newest 2,400 baud modem.
Today, validating your product idea is as simple as using Social Media, Google and Amazon.
Stay with me and listen closely.There are 4 simple things you can do to to validate your product idea. Click To Tweet
- Ask around. Ask your friends… the real face to face ones. Look at their faces when you share your idea. Get a read on their facial expression. Ask your friends on social media. Get a feel on who’s giving you good and bad feedback. Make note of gender, age, what they do for a living. Get as much information about “who” these people are.
- Do a keyword search on Google to see if there’s already product or services out there already. Make notes of websites that are potential competitors. Check them out on social media. Use the Google keyword planner to get an idea of how many people are “searching” for your widget idea. Can you already buy your widget on Amazon or Etsy?
- Take all the information gathered in step 2 and do more searching on social media and review sites. Are the social media sites lacking in followers and reviews? are reviews on Amazon and Etsy positive or negative based on the product? Are you seeing “I love this widget, it saves me so much time”?
- Build a prototype or a small version of your widget. Have some people Beta test it and give it a trial run in exchange for honest feedback. I stress honest feedback within a predetermined time frame. Make sure your Beta tester knows that this is a trial run and it’s not 100% perfect.
This type of research can save you so much time and money down the road and it can be done for almost any product or service idea.
It will take some time and there isn’t any guarantee that after all this research that you’ll make a ton of money and buy a house on the beach like Shirley dreamed about.
Be patient, do the work and be honest with yourself if research shows that your idea might not be the next greatest thing.
Don’t dismiss it. Put it on the back burner for now and revisit it later. Legend has is that Colonel Sanders started at 65 and heard 1,009 “no’s” before he heard his first “yes”.
You never know!
If you have other ways of validating or product or service ideas, please share in the comments and then so other can learn from this, please share this post.
Until next time,