How to validate a product or service

Entrepreneurship

In this presentation learn some practical steps you can take to validate a product or service before going into production and taking it to market.

Key learning outcomes:

  • 6-step validation process
  • Single-step validation strategy

Video presentation: How to validate a product or service

How validate a product or service

Hi, I'm Mike, founder of Limitless Combat Sports and Fight Gear, and former founder of 360 Hired. In this presentation we're going to talk about validating your product and service, and have a look at some of the steps that I follow and have followed previously to validate my product, before I go into production or look to spend a whole heap of money on an idea that might not be as great as I thought.

6-step (and single-step) validation process

There's a six-step process I usually follow, and I've also found out and used once before a single-step process, which uses Facebook marketing to really quickly and easily find out (for minimal cost) whether or not your product or service is really good.

1. Write down the Problem, not a Specific Solution

So the first one is, in the six step process, to write down your problem. So not the solution specifically, but the problem that you're trying to create a solution for.

So you really want to be able to clearly and quickly articulate what the problem is. So if you ever have a meeting with an investor, or a potential customer, you want to know the problem inside and out, and really quickly be able to talk about that in a fairly good level of detail. After all it is about to become your business that you run.

2. Determine if is a Tier 1 problem or not

So determine if it is a large scale problem or something minor. So if it's stopping people from going about their day-to-day business, or if it's a major pain point in a massive amount of peoples lives - that's what you would call a tier one problem.

If it's a small or really minor thing, you'd kind of tear it down from there. So less than 50 is like a tier 10 where there's no real business in it, but it's just a bit painful. A Tier 1 is right up there like solving major traffic problems. So you create teleportation or something. It's a Tier 1 problem.

3. Properly determine existing solutions

Tier it down, and then have a really good look at if there is already a solution available for the problem you're trying to solve.

So look at potential customers or potential other businesses and competitors. Look at how many are available, how they deliver that service or product, the kind of traction they are getting, the size of those businesses, the kind of revenue they're generating (if it's publicly available).

4. Look for pain in existing solutions

Then look for the pain in those solutions. How do you fix that problem your own way and how is that better (or different) than the other existing solutions for your problem.

5. Verify there's a budget for a solution

Then verify that people have money for it. So obviously teleportation is very expensive. So it's a great thing that you want to solve. People can travel around the world in a second, but it might be a trillion dollars per travel. So no one's got any money for it. So you need to make sure that you can produce the solution, but it's also affordable within its given set of limitations.

So that really comes down to; if you're creating air travel, then that budgets vastly bigger than trying to fix a salt and pepper shaker. People don't want to spend $900 on a salt and pepper shaker.

So you've got to really look and get those scales of economy correct, so that you can make sure that you can sell your product nice and quickly with minimum problems in getting people to deliver their money to you.

6. Use your prospects to define your roadmap

So the final step would be using your prospects to define a roadmap. So assuming you have a large scale solution, you need enough people to pay for it. So you might want to think and look at breaking that down into smaller group sizes.

If you find the next large scale problem, for example t-shirts. Everyone wears t-shirts. But you don't have enough money to buy a billion t-shirts. You need to start looking at breaking that problem into smaller bite size chunks. We really want to make sure that we have a roadmap. Aim for a billion customers. Our first goal might only be 10, 20, 50, 100 customers. And we define a product and solution that is small enough that we can control and handle and maintain, but that we can scale into a larger sort of product later down the track.

So that's my six steps to define and validate my product or solution.

Single-step validation process

The alternative to that long-winded thing is create a single page website. Create a landing page that all it's designed to do is explain your product really quickly, and has an email capture facility.

Then start a Facebook page, put a hundred dollar budget into a marketing campaign for it and see how quickly that a hundred dollars gets eaten up. So it's a really, really fun way. It's only a hundred bucks. If you're serious about your product or idea, and you want to validate it, a hundred bucks isn't a lot.

So what you can do is then gauge if that hundred dollars takes six months to go through, your problem's not that big. If it takes a day, or a week, or even a month to go through that a hundred dollars, that means people are clicking on it, it means it's wanted, and that's a really quick way to validate an idea. So not the best for selling it to an investor, but it gives you something to go off and go, okay, let's go to the next step now.

So hopefully that's been helpful. If you need any more info please feel free to get in contact.

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