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Business Studies: How to test your big idea

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Business Studies: How to test your big idea

Or even your small one… or medium… we should’ve tested that headline better…

If you’ve got an idea for a business or product (or, you know, an assignment where you’ve got to come up with a business or product), here’s a good way to test out the concept and see if it’s going to be amazing or the biggest rip-off since Pepsi.

The first step is thinking

Having an idea is great to get the ball rolling, but you have more thinking to do after that. Ask yourself questions like who’s your target customer? What problem is your idea solving? What resources do you have to make it happen? What else is out there to compete with you? (Despite that photo, you don’t need to wear a tie.)

Step two involves some building

Building some experiments, that is! Before you build the actual thing you want to sell, it’s important to test whether people would actually buy it. How do you find that out – psychics? No… no. You ask your customers. Which you don’t have yet. Hmm… That’s okay. You came up with your target customer in the previous step, so now you’re building, say, a fake website to see if there’s any interest from those people, or gathering a list of potential buyers to quiz about your business.

Measuring is your third step

This is where you do some experiments and actually ask people if they’re interested in the thing you’re going to offer. There are a few different ways to do this: now you have your target market identified, you can interview some of them and see what they’re looking for in the space your idea lives. You can also set up a survey online and see how people react to your ideas, or if they have suggestions you can take on.

4. Learning comes next

Now you’ve got huge stacks of information – or a few answers from the people you’d ideally be selling to – it’s time to figure out what they’re telling you. Some of these responses can be hard to hear, especially if you thought you were onto a winner but people aren’t that keen… that’s all part of the process. Maybe they’re after something similar to your idea, which means you can change it a bit and go for goal!

Thought that was it, did you? Nahhhh. Now it’s time to do more thinking. With everything you’ve learnt so far, you should have more specific questions you want answered, follow-up queries and a better idea of whether you should be doing this at all. While you’re here, check out these stories from businesspeople on how they tested their ideas. 

Congrats – you’re in business!

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