Have a great business idea, or so you think?
Well, before you invest all of your time and money into an idea you need to validate that idea and make sure there is a market for the product or service you are planning to sell. If your idea is validated, then it will make it much easier to successfully grow the business.
If the idea isn’t validated it can help save you from wasting your time and money, as well as a major financial disaster down the line.
But, how do you know if your idea will work or not? Here are some tips to help you figure that out fairly quickly.
Ask friends and family first.
Your friends and family will often be your biggest supporter, but also your biggest critic. You always want to ask them first, because they will give you honest feedback.
“You want to ask friends and family for feedback and ask them to be brutally honest,” says Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. Negative feedback is never fun, but it’s better that you hear it from those that love you and know you rather than complete strangers.
These are the people that are looking out for you, and the last thing they want to see is you waste your energy on an idea that isn’t going to work. Always be clear that you want them to pretend they don’t know you and to give you their honest opinion.
Create a Facebook group.
Creating a Facebook group and optimizing it with images and text relevant to your idea and using keywords that will help the group be found in search is a good idea to see if there is interest.
If you created a Facebook group about commercial cleaning & environmental concerns or pest control prices in Brisbane, then you might not get much interest, but if you created a Facebook group about the video game Fortnite then you could have hundreds of thousands of members joining because there is a huge market opportunity there.
With so many people on Facebook and Facebook Groups being so popular, you often see groups attract tens of thousands of members within days if they are created around a hot topic. After all, it’s free to join. So, if nobody bites on your group idea then it’s a good sign that there is little to no interest in that niche or industry.
Search competition online.
Online competition will tell you a lot. If you are wanting to launch a weight loss pill you will see that there are thousands of websites and brands competing for that market share. But, if it was a niche blog with little competition buy a large audience it may be worth pursuing.
“Google will tell you a lot,” suggests Loren Taylor of Soothing Company. “You will be able to quickly see if there are a lot of other website competing and who they are. If you are going to have to go head to head against Amazon or Apple then it may quickly shoot your idea down.”
If the competition online isn’t high you will want to keep researching to make sure there is a big enough market to build a business around.
Look at Google Trend data.
Google Trends is graph data that you can analyze to see how many people search for something and when it peaked and/or dipped. This is good especially if you are researching something related to current market trends.
“If you use Google Trends and search ‘fidget spinners’ you will see that it went from nothing to massive search numbers and then quickly fell back off the map,” says Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst Communications. “That trend is long gone, so there would not be a viable business opportunity there.”
You can also use this tool to look at related terms, as there is always the option to expand an idea or offering to achieve a larger reach or to cast a wider net.
Estimate search volume using Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a tool built for its pay-per-click AdWords product, but it can also be used to help you get a good estimate on whether or not something is popular.
“Type in keywords that you think your customers would be searching for if they wanted to buy whatever it was that you were planning on selling,” suggests Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “If you are turning up results of 20 – 40 searches each, that is low monthly interest. Larger search volume keywords are what you are hoping to discover here.”