9 Ways To Test Your Startup Idea

Dr. Ankit Sharma, PhD

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Ways To Test Your Startup Idea

Let’s be honest. Entrepreneurial concepts are abundant. These days, it seems like everyone has the next big idea that will make them rich and famous. Unsurprisingly, they won’t. But for those brave individuals who get their business through to the ideation stage, how do they reach the minimal viable product? How do you know whether the concept you have for your business is sound? You may need some ways to test your startup idea.

Finding out whether a certain target market is interested in your goods is part of the process of market validation. Before making a significant investment in your product or idea, market validation often entails conducting a series of consumer interviews with members of your target market.

Tips For Testing Your Startup Idea

Ways To Test Your Startup Idea

1. Decide What Actual Issue Your Proposal Addresses

Identifying the issue your problem will solve is one of the best ways to test your startup idea. Making sure your solution addresses a genuine need in the market is the first step in validating your concept. Something that makes your target audience feel uncomfortable, frustrated, or wounded is an issue. A lucrative product or service may be created if you can find an urgent need that is both common and costly to cure.

You must do some research on your target market and clients to pinpoint a true issue. To learn what people are looking for, asking questions about, or complaining about, you may utilize internet resources like Google Trends, Quora, Reddit, or social media. To get their opinions and thoughts, you may also do focus groups, interviews, or surveys with prospective clients.

2. Note Down Your Concept

Writing itself compels you to think about topics you may have previously overlooked. We do not mean to write a “business plan.” A business strategy isn’t the greatest use of time for startups, and it will alter the moment you begin speaking with potential clients.

We are talking about providing answers to a few important concerns that you may investigate. The earlier you test these hypotheses, the lower the risk you will have while releasing your product. That’s one of the wonderful ways to test your startup idea. Jot down a few fundamental presumptions that you can verify:

  • Who is the clientele you serve? Saying “everyone” will immediately put you in a difficult situation. Be careful to include specifics. For instance, respond with: What sort of business if your client is a company? What is the average size of a business? in a certain market? What is the buyer’s title?
  • Which issues are you resolving? Many entrepreneurs focus on the product first; they worry about the features, release the product, and then ask themselves why it isn’t gaining any momentum. I recommend addressing the issue at hand first. This entails being clear about the issues that your product resolves. You can find out if your consumers agree that these issues are problems by having them documented. And maybe more crucially, whether or not clients believe the issues are ones worth resolving.
  • In what ways does your product address such issues? You don’t go on to the product until you have written down the issue. From this point on, you may directly link the worth of your product to client issues. How does resolving their issues improve their quality of life? Do they profit more from it? seem more superior?
  • What are the product’s salient features? The features must address particular issues in addition to being nice; the more measurable (time saved, money earned, etc.), the better. We urge you to consider a minimum viable product and keep the feature set as small as possible (you have to provide just enough to entice some buyers to make a purchase).

3. Try Your Concept Among Your Network

To know how to validate your startup idea, you need to try your idea within your network. Testing your concept on others in your professional or personal network is the next step towards verifying it. These folks can provide you with frank criticism, recommendations, and tips.

They may also assist you in verifying certain presumptions you make about your concept, like its characteristics, advantages, cost, and mode of distribution. It is one of the great ways to test your startup idea. You may test your concept inside your network using a variety of techniques, such as:

  • Pitching: You may present your concept to mentors, investors, coworkers, friends, and family to gauge their response. Do they recognize the value you’re offering? Do they exhibit enthusiasm or interest? Do they voice concerns or queries? Do they offer to assist you or put you in contact with someone who could be of interest?
  • Pre-selling: Before you develop anything, you may attempt to sell your concept by making a landing page, a video, a prototype, or a mockup that highlights the advantages of your solution. After that, you may ask your network to pre-order, sign up, or pay for it. You may gauge consumer demand and willingness to pay for your product or service in this manner.
  • Crowdfunding: To find out whether people are interested in supporting your idea, you may start a crowdfunding campaign on websites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. In addition to helping, you generate money; crowdfunding verifies your concept by demonstrating the interest and response of the market.

4. Decide

54 hours at startup weekend fly by. In the real world, startups and innovative products follow the same principle. Resources and time are in short supply. There isn’t time to stress about minutiae that may not matter in the end.

Lean market validation therefore assists successful teams in gathering precisely the right amount of data and knowledge to enable decision-making. After that, they create them. The 80% rule is one that we prefer to follow: gather just enough reliable information from consumer interviews and other sources before making a decision. Ultimately, you will never get 100% assurance, and it will take an inordinate amount of time to get there.

5. Do Market Research

Market research can be one of the ways to test your startup idea. Doing bespoke market research with individuals who are not in your network but who fall into your target market or demography is the fifth stage in verifying your proposal.

These individuals can provide you with objective feedback and insights into their requirements, tastes, habits, and difficulties. They may also assist you in verifying the scope and size of your market. Custom market research may be conducted using a variety of techniques, including:

  • Online surveys: Using programs like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, you may design online surveys and then send them via email lists, social media adverts, or online forums to the people you want to reach. You might inquire about their expectations, willingness to pay, satisfaction levels, pain issues, and existing solutions.
  • User interviews: Using programs like Zoom or Skype, you may do user interviews with prospective clients by asking open-ended questions about their requirements and issues. Additionally, you may present your solution to them and ask for their opinion on its viability, desirableness, and usefulness.
  • Focus groups: Focus groups are a great way to get prospective clients to talk about your issue and solution. You may ask them questions and hear about their experiences. Additionally, you may see how they respond to and use your product or service.

6. Get Feedback

Receiving input on a product or service prototype is another way to validate your concept. A prototype is a condensed form of your solution that highlights its main features and benefits.

A minimal viable product (MVP) may take the form of a drawing, wireframe, mockup, landing page, video, or any other format. It is one of the most essential ways to test your startup idea. Prototype feedback may be obtained via a variety of techniques, including:

  • User testing: Potential buyers may try your prototype and provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t, as well as any faults or issues they run into. Online or in-person user testing may be done using programs like UserTesting or UsabilityHub.
  • A/B testing: To find out which version of your prototype works best for user engagement, conversion, or retention, test it with various features, designs, or messaging. Online A/B testing may be done using programs like Optimizely or Google Optimize.
  • Analytics: You may use tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to monitor and assess user behavior and feedback. Metrics including traffic, time on page, bounce rate, click-through rate, sign-ups, sales, ratings, reviews, and referrals may all be analyzed.

For instance, Dropbox, a cloud storage service that enables customers to view their files from any location, used a movie to demonstrate the features and operation of their product to verify their concept. After they uploaded the video to Hacker News, a well-known tech enthusiast website, hundreds of people signed up for their beta program.

It is essential to validate your company concept before creating it to prevent failure and achieve success. You may test your hypotheses and discover proof that your concept has a market need, a workable solution, and a successful business plan by following the preceding stages. By creating something that people need and desire, you may also save time and money.

7. Know Your Competition

Remarkably, 19% of companies fail as a result of ignoring the competition. It should come naturally to consider your competitors before entering a market. Examine your competitors’ offers to learn all there is to know about their shortcomings and what makes people not want to use them.

Additionally, take note of any holes they may have and fill them in your offering. Another smart move is to study the business plans and best practices of your most profitable rivals. It will enable you to construct your approach with more understanding. Take advice from those who have gone before you in your industry. There could be a reason why the product for which you have a concept doesn’t exist. As an illustration:

  • Perhaps the market isn’t prepared.
  • The concept or its use may give rise to certain legal concerns.
  • A startup cannot compete with a large player in the market.
  • The product you have in mind has already garnered significant funding from a prosperous corporation.

Finding out who your rivals are is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s known as competitive analysis, not surveillance. Also, data indicates that entrepreneurs who acquire knowledge have higher success rates. It is one of the great ways to test your startup idea.

8. Describe Your Ideas

To know how to validate your startup idea, you have to describe it. It’s time to have your product description ready now. Describe the main characteristics of it based on your investigation. How do they appear? How can you test your key hypothesis with them?

Don’t write a novel-length description of your product when you come down to it. Leave out any information that might confuse the development team and possible investors. Write in complete, precise phrases while keeping your thoughts concise. If anything in your description looks unclear, it can become problematic later on in the development process.

Postponing your product description and returning to it later is a smart move. Make sure there are no omissions or biased notions by reading it again. Allow others to read your description—ideally, not your pals, but rather your intended market. They are the ones who will use your product when it is ready, after all. It is one of the most vital ways to test your startup idea.

9. Create An MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

A minimum viable product is essentially a simple version of the product that your firm is offering. Using an MVP allows you to test your company idea’s premise in a real-world setting. Nothing much can replace a minimum viable product as a result.

However, it’s also the most costly and time-consuming procedure. And if the MVP falls short of expectations, it’s incredibly difficult to let go. Furthermore, this may entice you into an extended setup process from which it may be difficult to escape.

An MVP, on the other hand, is the “cheapest” solution for turning your concept into a functioning product or service without having to develop it fully. However, if you don’t already have a lot of money, it might still be quite expensive. The largest expense for a developer will be the time they devote to their work.

Final Notes

Although starting a business is an exciting notion, you shouldn’t allow it to control you. Make sure to verify your company concept before you even begin following ways to test your startup idea. Consider your company’s concept carefully. Before launching a firm, be sure it is something your target market needs and wants. Compile an executive summary, market research, competition analysis, and feedback.

Preserve yourself from the agony, headache, tension, and depleted finances that result from a poor decision. Spending a month validating a concept is preferable to constructing a product for a year only to discover that not enough people want it. You’ll save relationships, money, worry, and time.

You will benefit much more, however, if you enroll in our concept validation course and become a part of our incubator program. Keep in mind that if your company concept succeeds, the steps you take to verify it will benefit you greatly. This is because you will eventually need all of the data you gather. All of that labor results in a genuine win-win situation for you if it is confirmed.


Q: Why is concept validation important?

A: Why support your theories with evidence? The main justification for validating your ideas early on—before allocating excessive resources—is to save time, money, and effort. The farther along in the development cycle you are, the more difficult, expensive, and unappealing it is to reverse course and start again.

Q: Does my business concept need to be original?

A: It is not required to be distinct. Basic concepts are sufficient as long as they address the needs of people by filling a need and opening up a market.

Q: How can I pitch my company concepts?

A: “First impressions are lasting,” as they say. Making sure you don’t overlook any important points while presenting your concept is essential. In your pitch, you should make it clear why an investor should invest in your company and how your concept is unique among others.

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