Ideas are the nuggets that inspire change. Ideas are the catalysts that can change the world. Ideas are the nucleus of businesses—without ideas, there will be no businesses. In the words of William Feather, “Wealth flows from energy and ideas.” In the words of Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze, “Ideas are the mitochondria of businesses.” The correct management of these businesses eventually leads to great wealth.
“Ideas are the mitochondria of businesses.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.
Every business idea needs validation or proofing to ensure its eventual viability. Failure to do so could lead to time loss and resource wastage when the target market does not buy into the idea. So, incorrectly validating a business idea can discourage a great thing from happening, which is not what you want. You want to prove it right so it can take on a life of its own. To learn more, read on for more insights. Let’s go:
#1. Believing You are the Only One with the Idea
Let’s face it. There are many people on the planet with many business ideas, and there are chances that no one person owns a single idea. Okay, let us narrow it down to your specific location and not the entire planet—there is still someone within that country or city with a similar idea to yours. It may not be verbatim but could be so close to yours. Someone out there is doing something like what you are planning to do.
“To be able to validate your business or start-up idea, real-time market research is the ideal way to fetch data.” — Sys Qube.
Have you ever planned on carrying out a business idea, and somewhere along the line, you stalled, or you see an advert of something very similar to what you’re doing, and you are like, “that was my idea?” No, that was not your idea, and the precursor of the one you are seeing did not steal your idea. Meaning that someone else is thinking the same or even doing it when you think of doing something.
A lot of people validate their business ideas by believing they are the only ones doing it. As such, they fail to do market research on the concept to discover competitors running similar ideas. Market research helps you weigh your pros and cons and help you see how your competitors run their businesses. Furthermore, doing so enables you to discover the weaknesses of your competitors so you can have the upper hand by improving on the existing product or services.
The key to correctly validating or proofing your business idea is research, research, and more research. It would be best if you did your due diligence in deeply scanning the market to see what is out there in the niche you hope to venture into eventually. It will do you a lot of good. Once you are done and realized how you could make your product or service offering better, you can move on to planning, developing, and implementing that concept.
#2. Afraid of Idea Thieves
You have discovered that your idea can work. But it would be best if you still were very sure about it. However, you’re afraid of idea thefts by friends or colleagues who may steal the idea. Because of such paranoia, you decide that there is no need to get people’s opinions. However, this is a wrong validation move because feedback is critical before moving on to the following stages of planning, development, and implementation.
“Picasso had a saying— ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ —and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” — Steve Jobs.
Talk to people you trust and get honest feedback from them. The truth is, they will point out some things you didn’t put into consideration, and that can save you from making colossal start-up mistakes. You may think your idea is solid, but some pointers can help you reassess and strategize. You’ll be thanking your family and friends later for the honest opinions. Most importantly, let go of the fear of idea-bandits and be open to receive constructive criticism without going all defensive.
#3. Not Testing Your Product Because You Believe Everyone Needs It
Please, do some testing—don’t leave anything to chance. Please do not put a product out there without testing it. By testing the product’s viability in the potential markets, you feel whether the product will gain some acceptance to its potential consumers. In addition, you can attend start-up events to showcase your product to attendees and get feedback on the spot. Your friends can also give you honest feedback to know if to trash the idea or progress with it.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” — David Ogilvy.
Another way to test is to run mini ads to your target audience or reach out to a micro-influencer to showcase your product to their audience and watch its reception to that fanbase. The feedback you get will determine if to go to the next step or not. Another intelligent thing some start-up entrepreneurs do is create a questionnaire or run a survey to gather data from their target audience to ensure that the product will serve the intended market, all things being equal.
#4. Delaying the Building Process
Congrats, your testing went well, and your business idea is valid. But you’re stalling on the project because you believe it will wait for you. This wrong move could eventually make you see your product on a shelf someday by a swift entrepreneur who never stalled. As earlier stated, you alone do not own a business idea. However, you can be the first to market it, which means you have to get a unique domain name quickly, start branding, and secure your business name on social media platforms. However, you can seal the idea as yours if you are the first to trademark the concept.
“You don’t build a business. You build people; then people build the business.” — Zig Ziglar.
After trademarking or copyrighting the idea, you must start making quick moves to market and build a customer base. The truth is when you delay in making marketing moves after your test is successful, someone might already be out there cashing out on the same idea. Before you know it, the idea would quickly be obsolete. Once you have created your logo, secured your domain names for your web presence, and created awareness on social media, you can hire the best hands to help you build the idea into its mature state. Stop delaying your concept. Remember, procrastination is the enemy of success.
#5. Not Creating Strategies to Sell
You have done the above correctly, but you don’t know how to sell, and you do not have a customer acquisition plan. Many great business ideas are flushed down the drain because there are no marketing strategies to help the business scale. The business idea is good, and the product is fantastic. However, your business or service cannot sell itself. It would be best if you did yourself a solid to do a massive market push. Else competitors will clamp down on your fabulous offering and push you out of business.
“The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.” — Elon Musk.
How will you get your first customer? How will you build a strong community of loyal customers? What are your strategies to make people look away from your competitors and rush to buy from you? What promotions are you running? Do you have a reasonable marketing budget to start with from the onset? If you don’t have enough resources, are you using the traditional door-to-door solicitation in the modern world? Do you have answers to these questions and more?
The goal is to have a strategy to sell. Milan Kundera, the Czech writer, once said that “Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.” As soon as you innovate and birth an idea, it would be best to market it to sustain its life and maturity. Failure to do so is to stagnate the idea and stifle the life out of it. Not having a strategy to sell the concept that has come to bear is a sure path to the destruction of that idea, ceteris paribus. For a business to stand, you must innovate, develop, and implement it. Then it would be best if you marketed it to give it its momentum.
So, do yourself a solid and map out your strategies and start selling. It will be challenging at first because great things take time to establish. But that is perfectly okay; it’s all part of validating or proving that the idea is a worthwhile one. Always remember that marketing your concept is the livewire to any successful business. One customer at a time, and you are on your way to becoming the next big thing in the market.
It is one thing to have an idea, and it is another thing to validate or prove that your idea is worthwhile. In this piece, we have seen five wrong ways to validate your business idea. First, you may fool yourself by believing you are the only one with the idea. Someone somewhere may be thinking in the same line as you are. Second, you are constantly afraid of idea thieves that you fail to implement your idea.
“Every wish, every dream, every idea comes to existence only through blood, sweat, and sacrifice.” — Ivan Moody.
Third, you must test your idea to validate its worthiness. Failure to do so may throw a wrench into your process of keeping the vision alive. Fourth, delaying the building process is the wrong way to validate your business idea. Delay the say is dangerous. You can lose it all while you are busy procrastinating. Finally, the fifth point is not having a well-thought-out and laid-out strategy to sell and market your idea. Beware of these five wrong ways of validating your business idea, and you may have a chance to become the success story of tomorrow.