One of the most essential aspects of building a business is validating that there is a demand for your products. There is nothing more disheartening than spending your time and energy creating a product that you think people will love, only to realize that there’s no interest when you launch.
1. Initiate the first few sales
The primary and arguably best way to validate your product is to prioritize making a few initial sales. Nothing is more essential than customers seeing the value in your product and exchanging money for it.
Learn that while talking to potential customers is an important part of building your business, until people pay you all you own is a list of assumptions. Market research, surveys, and feedback from fellows and family can point you in the right direction, but true product idea validation only happens when money changes hands.
2. Conduct competitive analysis
Research can be useful when you’re still in the idealization stage or seeking for a product to sell. Searching the current market can also help you mitigate risk and build confidence in your idea before investing too much time and money.
Our next suggestion is to evaluate the market for your product as it stands today to ensure there’s sufficient demand to build a viable business. One way to make certain there is a healthy market to sell to is to look closely at your direct competition. Find out what they are doing and how it corresponds to what you are planning to do.
If there are competitors out there, you’ll at least reinforce there’s existing demand for what you’re selling. Industries that don’t make money don’t stay in business, so learning about how long your competitors have achieved to stay in business and roughly what their trajectory has looked like can give some rough validation that this is a market you can favorably sell it.
Recognize not to get discouraged when you see competitors that have already grown big businesses. The fact that they exist will give you a good sense of whether what you are offering is single or different than what’s currently in the market, which can point you toward untapped occasions or help you figure out what to focus on going forward.
3. Research the existing demand
A third strategy you can use to validate your product and its market is to examine demand and search volume. Now that you know more about your competitors, let’s take a solid look at interest from potential customers.
The simplest starting place is to go to Google Trends. This is a free tool that provides you to see how often people are searching for the product you’re selling. Identifying where the market is going can help you make a more informed decision and using Google Trends lets you see if your product idea is trending up, down, or if it’s stagnant. The final thing you want to do is jump into a declining market.
Another tool you can use is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. This tool enables you to search for keywords and phrases related to your product and then displays the total number of searches for each of the terms you choose.
Once you truly start getting a sense of your customer base, it’s significant that they have a way to communicate with and provide feedback to you. The fastest and easiest way is to provide friends and family with your minimum viable product (MVP) and then collect feedback using an online idea validation platform.
Search for the possible customers to find ones that fit properly with your brand and product. Acknowledge holding a set of questions ready to ask customers, such as their preferences on color and flavor, and what if any competing products they might currently be using.
Lastly, test different price points to see if there is a certain price that works best for your product, especially when you are in the early stages.
We recommend creating a survey with Howkya. It is an online platform that allows you to ask questions to verified professionals and get answers instantly. You can set the filter according to the type of people you need to answer the questions. It’s an excellent idea to also include people who are not your direct family or friends as they may be less biased and provide more honest feedback.
4. Start a crowdfunding campaign
A crowdfunding campaign is a valuable, proven option to see if there’s demand for your product. One of the advantages of a crowdfunding campaign is that you have a firm timeline and it requires all of your focus and effort to reach your goal.
If interested in running a campaign, it’s crucial to find the right service for your launch. Do some research to assure you have the right platform with the right community to launch your product, and surely try to talk to people who have run successful crowdfunding campaigns for tips.
5. Meet customers in person
Another method we can confidently suggest is to sign up for a craft show or local market. It is a helpful way to gather quick, first-hand feedback from potential customers.
Selling in person has the combined benefit of a strict deadline that you need to take action by, which is why we personally love it. This deadline serves as a forcing function that pushes you to get your products ready, and to get yourself ready to sell them. Once you’re ready to meet in person, you’ll benefit by getting to talk to potential customers, seeing their primary reactions to your product, and finding out if they are willing to spend money on it.
Selling products people want
One final point all business people should keep in mind is to not let validation turn into procrastination. Doing the primary legwork to validate your product is undeniably useful: it will give you the confidence essential to put yourself out there, and it can help you avoid costly mistakes, saving you time and money.
The truth is each business owner has to learn as they go, and trying to perfectly predict how everything will play out just stops you from shipping and selling a real product. Dipping your toes in the water can teach you a bunch, but all of your research and analysis is eventually just a lead up to that pivotal moment when you finally dive in.