Starting out as an entrepreneur? Do you want to learn key things that will make you a super successful entrepreneur? Then read this story.
Nsikak Essien had been thinking about the “next big thing” for a very long time. His problem was how to start. He had put it so much time and energy into thinking and analyzing and he knew it was time to get started. Just do something. But how? How will he test his big idea and the hedge potential risks? In his quest for a solution, he met a friend, Akpan Obot, who had been there before. Akpan shared these tips with him.
Do you have an idea for the “next big thing”? You may think your idea is perfect the way it is, but it’s wise to test it out before you spend a lot of time and money developing a business or product for which there’s no market. Here are six steps to help you make sure your product is something the world wants, before you launch it.
- First wait; then build a prototype or test service.
Although you’re excited about your new business idea, you might want to wait a while before testing it. A venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur, said in a 2014 interview,
“After I’ve gone through the process of writing down a bunch of ideas, I don’t like to rush into building a business plan or recruiting the team. I like to wait a few weeks, [to] see which ideas really stick with me.”
- Build a minimum viable product.
A minimum viable product, or MVP, is the simplest form of your idea that you can actually sell as product. Using the principles of Lean Six Sigma, the entrepreneur is advised to test and market early in the development process so that any tweaks or changes are in response to real feedback from the target audience.
- Run it by a group of critics.
When you have your first prototype or test service ready, take it to your potential target customers. You should talk [to] and/or survey at least 50 potential customers, to see if they identify with the problem the same way you do. In other words, you need to find out if this is a real problem for a majority of your target market, or just a few.
- Tweak it to suit your test market.
An inventor took a similar approach to testing 5by, an Internet video finder app he developed and has since sold. The inventor and his team went to college campuses and showed mock-ups of what the product was going to look like. They found the feedback from students invaluable in fine-tuning the original idea.
- Create a test website with social media tie-ins.
Once the word is out about your product or business, the target market needs a place to get more information about it or to show it to their friends. Building a simple website and using social media are ideal tools to provide information and monitor how many people are interested in what you are selling.
You’ll be able to tell if the idea will get traction from the number of click-throughs on the ads, and the number of people who fill in your form.
- Create a marketing plan and use it.
All of the preparatory work means nothing if you do not perform enough actions to get a good measure of response. Once you have a viable product, you need to be able to act on the interest in it. Make a list of 100 things you can do to market the product, and then execute that list of 100, and in the process, speak with 1,000 people about the product.
If you do this, you will have data on your product. You’ll know who is interested in it, what marketing strategies worked and didn’t work, and how you can improve, all of which are invaluable steps in getting your idea and business off the ground.
Post credit: Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria Connect