I believe first time founders screw up big time with this.
I’m talking about entrepreneurs or wannapreneurs pursuing their ideas.
They get super excited, they discuss the idea with a few friends, Google some competition and they refine their idea a little bit and then they start building.
There’s nothing wrong in the above statement, except the last part.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t start building anything before you talk to a bunch of stakeholders. Potential clients, Industry experts etc.
You should do the least amount of work in the beginning stages of a business and you should talk to a lot more people.
Validation is an underrated thing. It will save you years of pain. I say this from personal experience.
Now how do you go about validating your idea?
Stage 1 : Basic Research
Just a simple google search will give you an idea about the Industry you want to conquer.
Who is the competition?
What value do they provide?
How much do they charge?
What advantages do they have?
What disadvantages do they have?
How far along are they there?
What are they not focusing on?
Stage 2 : Should I even consider this idea
Here’s the moment of truth
A lot of entrepreneurs do a basic research like this and they’ll see fifty competitors who are light years ahead of them and they’ll still try to convince themselves that they should get into the market.
You can enter a market if you have something which will change the game completely. Like Tesla in the automobile industry.
If you don’t have any significant advantages, I’d suggest you stop right now and think of other ideas.
Stage 3 : Refining the Idea
So. After your basic research you don’t find other companies in this space that are obvious competitors, then it’s time to refine the idea.
Who is the product for?
Which industry are you targeting?
Who are the decision makers you need to speak to?
It’s best to prepare a business plan that covers the idea, the reservations stakeholders have and write down all assumptions you have about the idea.
Stage 4 : Testing the Hypothesis
You’ll have a bunch of assumptions you would have made. You’ll need to test each and every one of them.
It’s time to get some feet on the street.
Reach out to companies directly, to decision makers on Linkedin. Get introductions to the right people.
Converse, converse, converse. Don’t pitch.
Try to understand what they have to say about this. Try to understand why they are for the idea or why they are against it.
Most importantly understand if these decision makers see the value of your tool.
Stage 5 : Prepare a Landing Page
Here’s when things get real.
If you haven’t decided a name for your business or bought a domain – Get that done. After that
It’s time to build a landing page.
Step 1 : Choose a tool like Instapage
Step 2 : Choose a Theme
Step 3 : Structure your Landing page in the following order
- Address the MAIN problem (Example : Outbound cold outreach does not work)
- Suggest a simple solution
- Talk about concerns they might have (Get into the details)
- Address those concerns
- Create a great deal for the first few registrations
- Call to action that gets contact information
Stage 6 : Promote the Landing Page
Driving traffic to your landing page and getting sign-ups is key.
The people who visit your page are most likely to become your first customers. So here are a few marketing channels you can explore.
- Write Relevant Answers on Quora
Quora is a hotbed of action. Promoting a new business here is a must. Filter out relevant questions by topic and answer one everyday. Over thirty days, you would’ve written thirty answers and this brings in consistent traffic to your landing page.
- Introduce your offering on Linkedin
The best platform to introduce your product to companies is Linkedin. Linkedin has more number of decision makers who you can connect with than any other platform. Linkedin is built for networking and you need to put it to good use by having conversations around your product and the industry at large.
Network and Interact with Entrepreneurs on Facebook Groups
Facebook is focusing on Groups. Groups these days have the most targeted group of like minded people who have the same goal in mind. When it comes to entrepreneurial groups, we have entrepreneurs from all over the world who are likely in the same revenue stage.
They discuss ideas, solve problems and collaborate. This is a perfect place to validate your ideas and also get your first few customers. Smaller businesses are more likely to help other small businesses.
Stage 7 : Build your Website
Once you have that initial validation and your first few customers, you can focus on building a robust website.
A few main things you need to focus on is
- A homepage that has the value proposition and should directly mention the target audience (Example : Why sales professionals use our tool)
- A schedule a demo button. Many users don’t want to waste time on going through tutorials. They want to understand how the product works.
- Talk about a few customers who have benefited from using your product.
- Features of the Product from the perspective of benefits.
If you want to build a professional website, you can reach out to us at Novatise.