Let’s say you have spotted a problem and think you have the best idea in the world to fix it
Well… this could be true, but you know what, as brutal as this may sound, you might not be the first to have thought of it.
Here are some steps you can follow to test your idea in less than a week soo… BUCKLE UP!
1. DEFINE THE PROBLEM
You’ve identified a problem and feel as though you're onto something, but let’s talk about it… are you really?
This is what we call an “Assumption”, because you are assuming that you have a solution, but truth is you have nothing for now.
You need to research, understand your target customer and how crowded the market is.
This information will be extremely valuable and will give you a basic (but ever important) understanding of your idea’s potential impact.
2. DRAFT UP A LEAN CANVAS
Now, get yourself a lean canvas (Ash Muraya, 2010) and jot down all the main points of your business. This tool is 10x faster than a boring and backwards business plan and will help you visualise a model of your “company to be”, which is the perfect tool for the early stages.
3. TEST YOUR ASSUMPTION
Now, let’s say that your idea is viable… How do you test it? You might say:
“I'll secure investment to create the app (or whatever), a marketing agency to advertise and by then… I’m Jeff Bezos!“.
This would be a dream… Reality is a bit different.
In fact, you need to to learn to achieve the highest results with the least effort/resources. A start could be a simple mock-up of a page advertising the service you created, with a “hook”/prompt for new customers such as “Signup for more info”.
This hands-on approach will give you an understanding of the number of potential customers. Way more motivating than just finding out on Google stats.
Is this enough? Nope…
4. CREATE A PROTOTYPE
This is the second iteration of your development process but you are stronger, considering people have shown interest in your first iteration. This phase is more challenging as you'll be creating something which won’t just represent your “core” service but will simulate its functioning. Most of the time it will be you doing everything, but it'll be fun! You can call yourself Name“Bot”Surname after that. After development comes testing. You should behave like a scientist at this point and the test results will present you with different options, which will lead you to the final stage.
Pivot is the amazing concept of learning from what you’ve already done (mistakes, most of the time) by obtaining customer feedback and using it to create something which works better than your last prototype. With this comes the acceptance of you being human (not perfect) and the realisation that the best thing you can do is save the good parts of what you've already done, scrap the not-so-good and start over, ready to smash it on the next iteration!
This is not a guide to perfect success, but a guide to save you a lot of time and money… especially money.
Running a startup with a limited budget puts you in the mindset of obtaining the best result with the minimum effort.
In this way you are not even wasting your time because the energy you use will come useful to the next project you follow.
You’ll notice that iterations will take less, and less time and you’ll develop yourself not just your business
Always maintain good relationships with early adopters, as they are the ones who promoted your product and will be keen to take part in the development process, possibly in exchange for freebies ;)
Scared, motivated or interested about your idea? get in touch HERE.