Suppose you’re building a startup and have a one-million-dollar business idea. You’re sure people will love what you’ve invented. But what are the guarantees of massive user adoption? Is there any promise of user loyalty on the market?
In most cases, going on with what you think people want is counterproductive. In other words, it’s only guesswork. You can never know for sure what people need unless you ask them or study the market inside out to see what sells and what doesn’t. So, the secret behind any business idea’s success is its validation. The same goes for SaaS web design; you must be 100% sure that the target users need your product before investing money into its development.
Here we simplify the process of idea validation by discussing all its critical steps and aspects. Read on to see how your idea can transform into a bulletproof, marketable product.
#1 Market Validation
The first stage of business idea validation is to check whether there is a market for your potential product. In other words, you need to research the market and see whether people buy such products, what product types exist, what the market size and growth potential are, and what product features are currently missing.
Assess the Market Size and Share
Focus on the statistics in your target industry.
- What is the number of companies currently supplying the products like yours?
- What is their annual sales volume?
- How many units do they sell per year?
- What is the CAGR of your industry?
Knowing these figures will give you a better idea of the market share you can potentially gain, thus justifying the viability of your business idea.
Search Volume and Product Demand
Another aspect, apart from the factual sales in the industry, is the consumer demand for your product. It may be assessed by studying the search volume of related products on Google Trends. This free and informative statistical analysis may be eye-opening regarding products’ seasonality and the current stage of the product’s lifecycle.
Another viable option is to go through Amazon and check what related products are successfully sold at present. This search can give you a set of options for product diversification together with a sober, objective insight into the present-day demand for your idea.
#2 Idea Validation
Now that you’ve made sure there is a market for your idea, it’s time to refine the very business vision, adding the “meat” to the “bones.” Here are the steps you need to take for idea validation.
Describe Your Product’s Goals and Assumptions
Suppose you’ve decided to build a personal finance app. What should it give users? What essential features should it possess? What user problems would it solve? What should be unique about it? You will develop a more precise vision by answering these questions, moving from an abstract idea to a workable business plan.
Conduct User Research
No matter how bright your idea is, it won’t sell if users don’t share your optimism and don’t perceive the value behind your concept. So, you should go out to people and ask them what they think about your business project. It can be done in several ways:
- Create a simple landing page outlining the key features of your product to see how it goes. Analyze the number of interested visitors/subscribers to determine whether the idea interests people.
- Launch a survey via Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, asking your target audience about their opinion. Collect feedback and refine the business idea based on people’s responses.
- Conduct several in-person interviews with volunteers among your target users. Such a format of discussion will give first-hand impressions and valuable human insights into what can be done better.
The final step for idea validation is in-depth competitor analysis. Check the variety of typical products your competitors provide, finding what you can do better. You can win a loyal customer base and outperform the market participants by moving the product/service design to the next level.
#3 Product Validation
Now that you have a market and an idea, it’s time to move on with product design validation. There are many ways to implement different ideas in reality, and your particular UI/UX choices can shape your product’s fate in the market.
Develop a Set of Workable Features
A complex of practical, workable features differentiates a business idea from a tangible product. So, you need to focus on the features at the early stages of product design. In this way, you won’t waste time on unnecessary functions, following the path the users have drawn for you.
Test the MVP/Prototype with Users
You can confidently say that the product works well only after the field testing of its MVP. An MVP is a cost-effective, affordable instrument for validating an idea, giving you tangible feedback from users who tried it out. Once you get the initial assessment, continuing the development won’t be a hassle.
Conduct A/B Testing to Come up with the Best Design
Design solutions determine the product’s success to a large degree. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can still target most of your target users. The best way to pick an optimal design is to offer several options to users via A/B testing, allowing them to choose.
Don’t Do the Guesswork; Validate
As you can see, the business idea validation process is long and cumbersome. It takes time and effort but always pays off in the long run. If you jump into building a product without prior validation, the risk is very high that people simply don’t need it. You may end up with an irrelevant product lacking the vital features users need.
In any case, you will spend much more money and time to push your product through the market and win a competitive advantage. Building a product based on a validated concept is a completely different approach; it always means that you’re moving in the right direction, creating something people want. Thus, validated products are much easier in marketing, promotion, and user buy-in.