How to Test Your Ideas and Why
Let’s say that you have a bright idea to boost your business. Before taking it to the next level, there’s one thing you need to do: validate it. The way to validate an idea is by testing the idea. At this point, throughout the rest of the post, you will see the ropes of testing business ideas along with the stages included. Let’s dive into the topic “How to test business idea” now to learn more!
Important Stages of Business Idea Testing
If you do not know how to test your idea, listen to your intuition! You will most probably hear a voice telling you to stop a second and think. First, consider if your idea is viable. Do not fall in love with your idea and rush into execution of your idea, as it could waste time and money. For instance, think of yourself as a shoe shop owner. You have the idea of hiring another store to sell textiles. Do you go and hire the shop next to you immediately? Or do somewhat of market research first? When you know how to test an idea, you are more aware of the steps you need to take before starting any kind of action.
The best way to make an idea testing is to follow the “Build-Measure-Learn” cycle. The next part of this post tells you the stages of idea testing. Let’s begin with stage 0, hypothesis.
Stage 0: Hypothesis
This stage involves deep thinking. You need to evaluate your idea both for customers and your company. There will be three basic topics here to ask yourself:
- Do the customers outside want it?
- Will I be able to complete it easily?
- Can I make a good profit out of it?
With these three questions answered, you can now map out your hypothesis and move to the next stage, that is “Build”.
Stage 1: Build
This will be the first step of testing your idea after developing the hypothesis. You will design the best-suited experiments to test your hypothesis at this stage. However, the “Build” stage does not necessarily mean a working version of your product. Do not look for perfection! Start creating early-stage prototypes and MVPs (Minimum Viable Products). An MVP will be an important factor in testing your hypothesis’s validity around your value proposition. The simple examples of MVPs can go like these: storyboards, datasheets, brochures, landing pages, videos, and product boxes. All these MVPs serve you to measure your customers’ behaviors toward your product.
Stage 2: Measure
Here, we are at the most fun stage! In this step, you will start experimenting. Experimenting will be realized through communicating with the other parties and hearing their feedback. This action can be through interviews, a/b tests, or talking directly to customers and partners. In this way, you can have a clearer idea of whether your value proposition will be worth it or not. Also, creating a marketing plan can be a good measure of response. Once you have a product, act on the interest in it. Think of the ways to market your product by speaking with as many people as possible. This will form a datum on your product so you can read it clearly.
Stage 3: Learn
The last step of testing your business idea is analyzing the data. How do you do that? By simply connecting the evidence and the data you’ve collected from the initial experiments. You will see if your hypothesis is right or wrong at this stage. If your hypothesis seems to be right, you move on. However, if it is wrong or unclear, you will have to reshape your idea to create a new hypothesis and prove that your idea has legs.
Remember that there should be a deep understanding of a critical hypothesis at the heart of all testing processes. The point in that hypothesis is the value you intend to create for your target audience and your company. Do not get lost in building experiments and lose sight of your hypothesis!
Why Is Idea Testing Critical?
There can be times when you feel unsure about how to know if your business idea will work or not. At those times, you lean back and take a breath! Testing an idea is critical in many ways. If you carelessly presume that an opinion will be a big hit, it can mean that you are risking your resources, including your time and money. Most companies (even big ones) are in a rush to a flashy launch and skip the idea testing part. However, the idea test defines whether a business model is a success or a pile of rubbish. You need to think about a hypothesis, start to build a prototype, test if your target audience will like it, see the results, and evolve your idea accordingly. Until you test your idea, you won’t know who will find it useful.