If you’re an entrepreneur in the early stages of launching a startup, it’s probably the perfect time to remind yourself of one very simple fact: 90% of all startups fail. That’s a pretty daunting number.
The question that you should then be asking to yourself is whether your new product or service be great enough to beat the odds, or are you just emptying your pockets into a product that has no market viability?
What if we tell you that we can give you a little helping hand to validate your tech business idea?
Below, we’ve outlined 6 steps that, while maybe not fool-proof, we believe will give you enough insights to properly test your tech idea without committing huge investments, and determine in the very early stages as to whether you should continue to invest time and resources or if you should pivot away as quickly as possible.
1. Start with the basic research
It’s important to understand the current market demand for your service or product you plan to develop and how saturated the market is with competition. For these purposes, search engines can be a good starting point.
Use Google or Bing internet search engine to validate whether your tech idea is unique and if it occupies a high traffic segment of the market. Through your targeted searches, you can also determine where the competition is failing to meet consumer demand.
In this regard, an idea that is similar to others on the market isn’t a bad thing. Research reviews of those products, find opportunities to set your product apart and solve problems others might not have been able to address and include these solutions as part of your unique selling proposition (USP).
Your research should net you with a list of keywords that define the benefits of the product you want to build. If you’re not sure how keywords drive traffic, check out Shout Me Loud’s blog. This gives a quick and immediate insight to determine if there is an existing demand or interest in the product or service you want to create.
You can also read through Google Adwords official blog to hone in on similar keywords in order to maximize traffic to your product.
2. Build your prospects a landing page
Now that you have an idea of what your customers are looking for, it’s time to give them a way to express their interest in your product, and that means building a landing page. A properly built landing page helps you to gauge interest in your product while informing your potential client about your idea and to request for more information.
Not sure about the components your landing page should include? Check out Eric Siu’s introduction to landing pages for a great guide on what your page should include. Expand your knowledge base with a visit to Hubspot’s guide to building landing pages.
Once you’ve got the basics down, step your game up and use one of the web based tools to create a landing page, depicting the USP of your product. You may have a look at Lead Pages web-based tool or Instapage’s to build your page with minimal upfront investment.
Whether you build a single landing page, or multiple targeted landing pages for various market segments, ensure you include a method for visitors to sign up to receive updates and information about your product, as development moves forward. Consumer feedback is the best way to test the efficacy of your tech idea.
3. It’s time to drive traffic to your landing page
Now that you’ve established your online presence with a landing page, you need to generate traffic. The best way to do that?
Start with social media, with a focus on Facebook.
It doesn’t matter if your focus is B2B or B2C, Facebook gives you a door to an almost limitless client-base.You can start with a business or product page on Facebook and use an organic marketing approach by first inviting friends, family, and colleagues to your page.
Once you’ve built your foundation, you can branch out with Calls to Action to inspire them to talk about your product and validate your tech and your business approach. As they talk about your idea, they’ll be spreading the word. Follow up with targeted marketing efforts. With as low as $5 a day, Facebook advertising provides a relatively inexpensive medium to reach a massive new audience.
Wishpond’s blog on Facebook marketing can help you learn more about Facebook’s marketing tools and how to use them to generate traffic to your page.
If you want to keep advertising design costs low, you should consider Canva’s guide for building Facebook advert design creatives.
4. Getting your hands dirty: Starting with the product development
The interest you’ve generated through your landing page and the response & feedback provided by visitors should give you enough data to start developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP is your vision brought to life, the first iteration of your intended product.
But maybe you’re more of a dreamer with capital to spare and not technically inclined. Or perhaps you have the ability but not the bandwidth to truly devote the necessary resources to your product. In such cases, it’s important to form a strategic partnership with a company like Kays Harbor Technology, a company that understands lean development and how to bring your vision to life.
A strategic partner can help you validate your tech business idea, get your feet under you in the beginning of your development cycle, and help you to scale up as your product matures and comes to market. Such a partnership minimizes your risk by ensuring the product that makes it to the market is the one that is going to perform well with your target audience.
From telemedicine solutions to goal planning applications and the gambit of B2B commerce solutions in between, Kays Harbor Technologies has experience of helping entrepreneurs give shape to their ideas and scaling it up.
We specialize in helping our business partners to realize their visions, right from conception to the first iteration of their MVP, and into the future of the product by way of testing and scaling the scope of each project appropriately.
5. Reaching out to your biggest supporters
You’ve spent time and resources on getting your MVP out into the world, and now it’s time to tell everyone about your successes, your journey, and even invite them to participate further in the development process.
Remember, your landing page wasn’t just for show – the landing page’s most vital function is to validate your approach and invite users to sign up for updates and information regarding your product or service. Now it’s time to put that information to use.
Use an email marketing campaign to share your MVP with the early adopters and invite them to download your mobile app or explore your web service. If you need help on planning your email marketing blast, try reading more from the experts at Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
You can also check out Jordie Van Rijn’s blog on the important components of a marketing email.
If you’re early in the process and have less than 2000 subscribers, and don’t have a desire to invest a lot of capital in the campaign until you’ve built up some more interest, give MailChimp a try for free.
Irrespective of the way you handle your email marketing efforts, don’t forget to remind users to return to the landing page and continue to give their feedback regarding the experience. This will become vital data in further iterations and refining your MVP into the product it will become.
6. Take what you’ve learnt and do it all again
If you’re serious about your desire to bring your product to market and serious about validating your business approach, then your journey has only just begun. The nature of product development means that it’s time to iterate on feedback, make corrections, and then determine if your target audience is loving the product or whether the product requires some changes or even a pivot on your part.
As you begin to sort and respond to the feedback of your users, you’ll come to understand that this is where having a strategic partner such as Kays Harbor Technologies truly pays off. A strategic partner is able to accomplish all of the technical tasks, leaving you to interact with your clients and gauge the success or opportunities for your product.
It’s vital that you continue to improve and modify your service or product throughout the development process all the way through to your target market launch date. This ensures that you have a truly minimal yet viable product.
Your journey to success
Bringing your startup through the six steps discussed above will provide you with the insights you need in order to validate your tech idea and your team’s approach, and to determine if your product is a fit for your target market or if it requires revision on your part.
Remember, these 6 steps just help you identify the right product for your market fit without spending a bomb. The output of these steps is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which satisfies the basic need of your target audience, without you having to commit millions in the idea.
By focusing on the data right from the onset, you then need to make informed decisions and accurately scale your product and guide your project down the path towards success.