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How to Test Your Business Idea or New Product

Written by Romeo Devlin
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Do you have a great idea for a business but don’t know if your idea will work? How do you avoid a potentially expensive mistake?

Testing your idea before going to market is both a great way to see if there’s demand as well as to discover any issues before fully investing your time and money. Testing can even change the direction of your business.

It can be tricky to test though. Finding the proper method and the right arena to try your products or services, and getting honest feedback, can be tricky. Then you have to act upon that feedback. So, what’s the best way to go about this?

6 Steps to testing your business idea or product

There are a few ways you can test your business idea in the market prior to launching. Here are 6 steps you can take to make sure that when you do launch, you have the best business product or service, that it’s market-ready, and with customer satisfaction guaranteed.

1. Build a prototype or service

An idea is one thing, but if you’re able to actually walk a test group through the process, or give them a feel for what the product will look like or how the service works, then you’ll be able to get much better feedback.

2. Create an MVP

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. This should be the simplest version of your product or service that you can create and sell. It is one step from the prototype. It has enough features, or detail, to attract early customers who can see the vision. This will help you in step 1 in creating a version that’s just for testing.

That way, you’ll be able to receive some customer feedback, allowing you to make necessary changes or adjustments based on their feedback. If the feedback you receive is positive, then you’ll also be able to bring the product to market much more rapidly than if you created a fully-fledged product initially, potentially beating out any competition.

3. Test your assumptions & interview your customers

We all have assumptions about our ideas and our products. However, understanding your potential customers’ assumptions about your product or service, as well as brand, will help in so many ways. You’ll be able to tell if how you want your brand to be perceived is matching what the market is saying because after all, you want people who use your products and services to not only tell their friends but tell their friends the right things about your brand too.

Once you’ve launched your prototype, or your MVP, ask them what they like and dislike about your idea, and why. You need to know why to get valuable feedback. You can also speak to industry experts for their opinion too.

The information you get back will allow you to pivot, or change your approach, and make modifications to better serve your customers.

4. Tweak your product

After all this customer feedback, tweak your products to best serve your client base. It’s not good business to force your product upon the public if they’re not ready for it or if it doesn't function the way they expected or wanted it to.

At this stage, assess how much it costs to tweak your idea or product in order to fit the market expectations. If the costs are too high, do you have a good idea for the market? Or do you think you will reap higher rewards after investing more and making the changes?

5. Create an online presence and marketing plan

Once your products are out in the market, people will want to know more. They will want to find out how they, too, can get their hands on your product.

What is your marketing plan? How will you lead people through your marketing funnel to the pointy end?

Do you have a social media presence, or another online presence, to feed your marketing funnel?

Neither of these things needs to be overly complicated. They do need to be there to ride the popularity of your amazing new idea, which has passed all the other tests to this point.

6. Continue to test your product/idea and create new versions

Never rest on your laurels. Never be satisfied with enough. Always take feedback onboard; and always look for ways to improve your product or idea. How often have you seen the phrase- ‘new and improved’?

You can always go through the same, or a similar, testing process to ensure you continually get new feedback and ideas. When you do this, make sure that you’re reaching out to all varieties of people in your target market, or even hear from people you never thought would be your customers too.

Need help testing your product or business idea?

Ideas are where most awesome things begin. Entrepreneurs are full of ideas, and not all of them are good. They test their ideas and only come to market with the best ideas. This can be you.

If you’ve got a great idea and want some help to start your own business, see our best tips on how you can start a business in 2022. For those who’ve already kickstarted a business and are looking to grow to 6 and 7-figures in revenue, The Entourage’s Accelerate Training program could be right for you. Or if you have an established business and are looking to enter new markets, our Elevate Training program will give you access to seasoned coaches and experts who can help you go to market and reach 7, 8 or even 9-figures in revenue.

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