Every business is based on the idea of solving a certain problem. Even if you have an idea, don’t hurry to translate it into reality. You should verify your vision of the problem solution and be sure that anyone needs it.
In-time validation helps owners to save time and money and better understand customers’ needs.
That’s why an entrepreneur should discuss with future customers their problems and, after that, change the preliminary idea using the gathered insights.
It is easies to develop a really helpful product than to convince the estimated target market that they need your product.
Let’s consider the case of developing a B2B startup strategy.
Validating the startup idea in 4 stages
Say, you want to offer several food chains to predict the daily demand for their products using artificial intelligence algorithms, your product will help them reduce waste and increase productivity.
Step 1. Identify your future target market, including one or several segments. If there are two or more segments, you can compare their problems. Let’s suppose that you have chosen a big food chain with a large number of restaurants.
Step 2. Make contact with relevant employees who are facing these challenges. Find their emails and write them about your research in this sphere, offer a small chat for discussing. If you receive too few answers, you can try going to a restaurant and talk with responsible employers personally.
Step 3. Listen more, talk less. Don’t forget about your goal of the meeting. This is not selling, but the research for the future product. You should understand the real problems of your conversationalists and then tell how you propose to solve it. If they are interested in your product, it will be a great result and a sign that you’re doing the right thing.
Step 4. Sum up the received information and draw conclusions. For example, you spoke to ten managers. Seven of them are using their own algorithms, five of them are fully satisfied, and only one needs your product. There are 3 ways out in this situation:
- You should find how to prove that the benefits of your product are valuable for your target market.
- You should change your estimated target market (for example, refer to a segment, say, smaller food chains, which don’t have their algorithms).
- You should find a new idea. Your conversationalists talking about several common problems can spark a thought about new, more helpful products. This is known as pivoting in entrepreneurship, the correct response, and the common solution.
How to prepare for meeting with estimated clients
There are several books that will help you to get ready for a conversation with the estimated target market.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
Steve Blank offers a 4-stage customer development conception, which was the beginning of the Lean Startup methodology. After reading this book, you will know how to create a working business model and verify the assumptions before it is too late and costly.
In his book, Rob Fitzpatrick describes how to talk with clients with the greatest benefit and how to concentrate on their real problems without imposing your opinion.
The writer suggests not to ask such questions:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if…”
“What do you think of this idea?”
“Would you use such a product?”
This is a novel with a dramatical element explaining customer development and scientific innovations. Owen is going to close the business, but he meets with Samantha, who shows him a different way of doing business. Diana Kander will inspire you to think about your business after reading this book.
Also, if you want to know more about how to create a successful startup, check our recent posts:
Validation of the startup idea and customer development are necessary to choose the right direction for your business growth and save money. You will know your target market better and come up with a really necessary product.