How to validate your business idea with a lean startup approach
In this article we will be discussing how to validate your business idea with a lean startup approach. In order to validate your business idea, you will need to have a clear understanding of what a business idea is and why it is important to validate it. Once you have a firm understanding of these concepts, we will then introduce the lean startup approach and explain its history and evolution.
What is a business idea?
A business idea is a concept or solution that can be used to solve a problem or address a need. It is important to validate your business idea because it allows you to determine whether or not your concept is feasible and has the potential to be successful.
Why is it important to validate your idea?
There are a number of reasons why it is important to validate your business idea. Firstly, it allows you to assess the viability of your concept and determine whether or not it is worth pursuing. Secondly, it helps you to identify any potential risks or challenges associated with your idea. Finally, it provides you with the opportunity to test your concept with potential customers or users to get feedback and refine your idea.
What is the lean startup approach?
The lean startup approach is a methodology for developing and launching new businesses. It was originated by Eric Ries in the book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. The lean startup approach is based on the principle of continuous innovation, which is the process of making small changes to a product or service in order to continually improve it.
What problem does the lean startup approach solve?
The lean startup approach is designed to help businesses quickly launch and test new products or services. It is based on the principle of continuous innovation, which is the process of making small changes to a product or service in order to continually improve it. This approach helps businesses to avoid the common pitfalls associated with launching new products or services, such as overspending on development or failing to gain customer traction.
The lean startup approach is a valuable tool for validating your business idea. It helps you to assess the viability of your concept, identify any potential risks or challenges, and test your idea with potential customers or users. If you are thinking about starting a new business, we encourage you to consider using the lean startup approach.
Lean Market Validation: 10 Ways to Rapidly Test Your Startup Idea
Product validation is an important step for any business, but especially for startups. There are many ways to validate a product, but not all methods are created equal. Some methods are more expensive and time-consuming than others, and some may not be applicable to your product or business model.
The best way to validate a product is to use a combination of methods, starting with the least expensive and time-consuming methods and progressing to more expensive and time-consuming methods. Here are 10 ways to validate a product, starting with the least expensive and time-consuming methods.
1. Social media
Use social media to gauge interest in your product. Create a landing page and share it on social media. See how many people visit the page and how many people sign up for your product.
In addition to showing interest in your product, it is also important to validate - how much people are actually willing to pay for the product. Before spending money on building the actual product, put up an advert on social media and take note of how many people actually sign up to buy your product.
2. Google AdWords
Google AdWords is a way to validate interest in your product by bidding on key words related to your product. When people search for the key words you’ve bid on, your ad will appear. If people click on your ad, you’ll pay for the click.
This is a good way to gauge interest in your product, but it can be expensive if you bid on popular key words. In addition, you won’t be able to tell how many people are actually interested in buying your product, as opposed to just being interested in the product.
3. Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Create a minimum viable product (MVP) and put it out there, see how many people land on it and actually pay for it. The idea is to validate that the problem you are trying to solve is a real problem for people and a problem people would be willing to pay money to solve.
Measure how many people land on your product, how many people make a purchase - important metrics to consider are: conversion rates, average order value and customer lifetime value.
Probably one of the most important things you can do to validate your business idea is actually taking to your customers and conducting interviews.
When conducting interviews, focus more on what your customers need - as opposed to what you are offering, get the perspective from the customer on what their real pain points are. Use this session to validate or disprove your assumptions.
5. Landing Pages
A great way to validate interest in your product is to create a landing page. A landing page is a single page on your website that is designed to capture leads. The lead is then sent to your sales or customer success team.
The benefit of using a landing page is that you can track how many people land on the page, how many people fill out the form and how many people are actually interested in your product.
6. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a method of comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. A/B testing can be used to test different versions of a landing page, for example.
The benefit of using A/B testing is that it allows you to test different versions of your product and see which one performs better. A/B testing can be expensive and time-consuming, but it is a great way to validate a product.
7. Focus Groups
A focus group is a small group of people who are brought together to discuss a product. The benefit of using focus groups is that you can get feedback on your product from a group of people.
When we started with our product, we offered it for free to a small group of people and used their experience and feedback to improve our offerings. Our product became better and we learned about the features that were really important to businesses, and features that are used more often that others.
Surveys are a great way to collect feedback on your product. You can use surveys to collect feedback on your MVP or your product.
The benefit of using surveys is that you can reach a large number of people and collect a lot of data. Surveys can be time-consuming, but they are a great way to validate a product.
9. Online Communities
Online communities are a great way to get feedback on your product. There are many online communities, such as Reddit, where you can post about your product and get feedback from users.
The benefit of using online communities is that you can reach a large number of people and get feedback on your product. The downside of using online communities is that the feedback you get may not be completely objective.
10. In-Person Events
In-person events are a great way to get feedback on your product. You can host an event, such as a meet-up, where you can present your product to a group of people and get feedback.
The benefit of using in-person events is that you can get feedback from a group of people. The downside of using in-person events is that they can be expensive and time-consuming.
Use goal setting software to record, measure and track your goals when validating your business idea
Goal setting is a crucial part of validating your business idea. By definition, a goal is something you want to achieve. And in order to validate your business idea, you need to be able to measure and track your progress towards that goal.
Skhokho is one example of OKR management software that can help you with all three of these steps. When you're trying to validate your business idea quickly, it's important to have actual numbers to back up your claims. That's where Skhokho comes in.
With Skhokho, you can create objectives and key results, track your progress, and measure your success over time. This will help you to validate your business idea quickly and efficiently. So if you're looking for a way to set and track your goals, Skhokho is a great option to consider.
Register for a free 14 day trial with Skhokho to try out the built in OKR management system.
Design your minimally viable product (MVP) or test it yourself
An MVP is a product with just enough features to be usable by early adopters. The idea is to get feedback from these users as soon as possible so that you can iterate and improve the product before launch.
There are two main ways to create an MVP:
1. Build it yourself
If you have the skills and time, you can build a basic version of your product yourself. This is a good option if you want to keep costs down and have full control over the development process.
2. Work with a development team
If you don’t have the skills or time to build your MVP yourself, you can work with a development team. This is a good option if you want to get your product to market faster.
Before you decide which option is right for you, it’s important to understand the trade-offs. Building your MVP yourself will be cheaper and you’ll have more control over the development process. However, it will take longer to get your MVP to market. Working with a development team will be more expensive but you’ll get your MVP to market faster.
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to build your MVP, it’s time to start planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Keep it simple
Your MVP should have just enough features to be usable by early adopters. Don’t try to include too many features – you can always add more later.
2. Focus on your core value proposition
Your MVP should focus on your core value proposition – the main benefit that your product offers. This is what will make your product unique and appealing to early adopters.
3. Get feedback early and often
The whole point of an MVP is to get feedback from early adopters. This feedback will be essential for improving your product before launch.
There are a few different ways to get feedback:
• User testing: This involves getting people to use your MVP and then asking them for feedback.
• Surveys: You can use surveys to gather feedback from people who have used your MVP.
• analytics: If your MVP is a website or mobile app, you can use analytics tools to track how people are using it.
4. Be prepared to pivot
The feedback you get from early adopters may require you to make some changes to your product. Be prepared to pivot – that is, to make changes to your product based on feedback.
5. Launch as soon as possible
Once your MVP is ready, it’s time to launch. The sooner you launch, the sooner you’ll get feedback and be able to improve your product.
Building an MVP is a great way to get your product to market faster and cheaper. However, it’s important to understand the trade-offs and to be prepared to pivot based on feedback.
Further reading on the topic of idea validation frameworks
Now that we have discussed idea validation and lean startup approach in detail, here are some further reading that you can do in your own time:
1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
2. The startup owner's manual: the step-by-step guide for building a great company by Steve Blank
3. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Zander
4. The Lean Entrepreneur: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less by Brant Cooper
These are only a few of the many excellent resources available on the topic of idea validation and the lean startup approach. These readings will give you a more in-depth understanding of the topic and how to apply it in your own business venture.