Do you have an idea that you feel has the potential to be the proverbial next big thing in the world of business? Do you strongly believe that it has the power to disrupt the conventional way people do things? And just as with all radical ideas, are there doubts, fears, and uncertainty galore in your mind?
While nobody can ever be certain that your idea will be something that people are actually willing to spend money on and buy, there is no success possible without risk. Successful risk-takers, however, reduce the uncertainty in their decisions by being prepared. Doing your homework and having the information you need to make the right choices will go a long way in saving your precious time, energy, and money. Here are some steps you can take to be well-prepared in your entrepreneurial journey so you increase your chances of creating a winning offering for the market –
Test market appetites before you invest in a proof of concept
Your idea might be brilliant from your perspective, but would your target audience find the same value in your concept? It is important for you to be armed with insight into what your potential customer is looking for. The best way to get that information is to reach out to and speak to your potential buyer directly. You can gain valuable guidance into their pain points, understand their buying habits, and get their feedback on your idea. This can help you simply and directly gauge the interest of the market inyour product or idea before spending too much on it. You can further tweak your product to make it more attractive to potential buyers based on the insights garnered.
Use of social media to gauge interest
In thedigital times we live in, most potential customers are likely to have some form of social media access or presence. Interactions on these platforms with their peers often influence their choices as consumers in a major way. This makes finding the right platforms and groups where these conversations happen and becoming a part of them important. Noting which topics get the most traction and the most common reactions and comments can let you know what the market likes, dislikes, and what the trends are. You can even set up a test website/social media profile to see what people’s initial reactions to your idea are. However, it is important to keep in mind that these reactions aren’t always 100% accurate representations of market interest, because people are still unaware of your brand.
Competitive market research
Once you have refined your idea to a point where you think it can work, look around the market to determine what existing products are similar to yours, either in function or form. The existence of competition is in itself a validation of your plan, as it proves that there is a market for your idea. Studying the market and your competition, while tracking market trends will help you uncover potential gaps in the domain you are targeting. Know your industry and ask for feedback – you can learn a lot from old hands in the sector, as their experience can help add more depth to your understanding of the sector and the market. Understanding the value that the competition provides can help you select how you enrich your customer’s lives by making sure that you’re doing something better and providing more than the competition.
Change customer wants into needs
Successful products begin from understanding what the customer wants, giving that to them, and making it such an amazing experience that for them it isn’t something ‘nice’ to have, but a necessity. Let your idea evolve from being a customer want and to a need.Refine and tweak it in a dynamic way such that your users soon find themselves completely dependent on the product/service you offer.
Keeping the product/service simple and useful
Understanding the market will help your offerings be unique, as you differentiate your product from the competition; it’s also important, however, for it to be simple and useful. A product is meaningful when it solves a problem that irks people and does the job faster, quicker or in a more cost-effective waythan existing alternatives. The increase in convenience or productivity that the product or service offers is what is likely to make it sell. Take care to ensure that the product/service name helps communicate the value proposition of the product adequately to make an impression upon the consumer. For instance, the Rotimatic – an automatic roti-making machine – had long order lists and was a huge hit because of its name even before production started.
Use your own network
Get friends and family to use your offerings and be open to their feedback. Use it constructively and make last-minute changes to your product and your plans to sell it on the basis of these insights. Use this as a good occasion to find out how much people are willing to pay for it as a guide for later market plans.
In price-sensitive markets like India, pricing is all-important. People are willing to part with their hard-earned money if something adds value to their life, but everyone wants the best deal. Speak to people and figure out what price they would ideally pay for a product such as yours. It is also imperative to communicate to your potential buyer why your product/service is a great deal at that price.
Believe in yourself
Be focused on the important things and believe in yourself and your product/service. Remember, your journey is a long one – perseverance is critical, and self-belief is a fundamental step before expecting the support of others.
While there is no guarantee for success in this world, there is a method to its madness. These pointers will help you minimize the risk of failure, if not eliminate it. All the best for your startup journey!
Source: SME World Magazine