Start-ups have it rough when it comes to proving to investors that their ideas will be profitable in the long run. New business ideas can be met with skepticism, especially if they seem ‘out-of-the-box’. But it is important that you, as a business owner, are able to validate your business plan before it gets off the ground.
If you would like to test whether your business plan has a good chance of surviving past its first year, consider the following:
How do people react when you tell them about your new business plan?
People are your potential customers, and the way they respond to your business idea is a good indication of whether it has potential. Are people interested in hearing more, or amazed at how no one else has thought of developing a similar business plan?
Pre-sales can tell you a lot
If you have samples of the product already suitable for purchase, contact potential buyers and make your sales pitch for them to buy. Many lessons can be learnt from this process, ranging from whether the product itself is well received, to the effectiveness of your sales pitch.
Contact critics and bloggers
Give them free samples of your product and ask them for their honest opinions. Many are more than happy to try out new products and write honest reviews. Also, it is a great way to begin the marketing process of your products and gain wide brand exposure.
Are you solving people’s problems?
Whatever product you are selling should be a solution to your potential customer’s problem. This should be your core selling point, and if you cannot do this, then unfortunately your business idea may not actually be as great as anticipated.
You, your employees and your investors are contributing invaluable time, money and effort into the success of the business, and it is ideal to have a preliminary assessment of the business’ potential even before doors open. Furthermore, gaining feedback from potential customers can help you improve your product. This in turn ensures that when you officially launch, you are well geared for success.
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