Hello start-ups and small businesses,today we are talking about not wasting resources when creating your product or business model. Market research and surveying only go so far to determine the amount of value consumers see in your product or service. Usually market research works best where there exists a long-standing, established trend for the business or specific product/service.
One of the best ways as a new business to market your product or service is to simply go out and test it on real people. Start small and don`t invest large amounts of resources on an initial product, rather have something minimal to test a part of what you would like to offer. Get people to try it and gain feedback as quickly as you can. This way, when it`s time to create more features or change things you can add only what people have suggested or desired… and not what you assume.
Let`s use a new muffin bakery as an example. You have a clear and distinct vision of who your customers are to be, how your business will run in day to day activities, and you create dozens of unique and classic muffin flavors. You make hundreds of each kind of muffin and open your doors (easier said than done).
Soon you sell out of chocolate and raspberry cream cheese muffins… but you notice that your “super delicious” coffee flavored and most other types of muffins are literally untouched and are losing their freshness. Days go by and the same thing continues as you sell only 2 kinds of muffins.
What`s the problem here?
Your muffin bakery has effectively wasted its time, money, and (your) effort in making flavors that nobody wants. But how were you supposed to know? You even asked friends for flavors they like!! You did the market research, but now you`re not selling certain flavors!
What should you have done?
As you can imagine, it would have been wise to test out the muffins on real people. Sometimes consumers really do not know what they want when asked. The only true way to see if your product holds value is to test and experiment just like sales processes and marketing tactics.
Now, it`s easy to understand the muffin example, but the same concept can be applied to creating software, spending thousands on marketing teams, etc. Test small, figure out what works, improve, and then REPEAT. Never stop learning and testing for more effective product features, services, methods, etc. Some people enjoy using the TURF analysis technique to gain new understanding from data always keep your mind open to different approaches.
To wrap this article up: for start-ups and small business, while it`s okay to dream big, do not waste resources on assumptions whether that be the demand for your product, expenses on production, ease of entry into the market, and similar factors.