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Business Idea Validation - How To Do It

Get feedback from thousands of people in minutes to validate business ideas and ensure you're on the right track.

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Concept validation testing is one of the most valuable tools anyone can use to make sure their idea is on the right track to succeed.

It is one thing to have a product idea and another to develop it and gain paying customers. Most startups that fail have products the market does not need or implement poor marketing strategies.

Concept and idea validation test the viability of your idea before creating a final product for the target audience. The business idea validation process begins with having a solution for a problem and assessing market demand. Then, you can create a proof of concept or a prototype to demonstrate your solution. The most essential step is getting expert reviews through surveys, video recordings, and even real-time critiquing of your concept.

You will gain valuable insights from the early stage to know when to discontinue, pivot, or continue with a concept. Depending on the concept, the process may require a considerable amount of time and resources. Notwithstanding, you’ll end up with a high-fidelity product, as we’ll explain briefly.

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What is Concept Validation?

Concept and business idea validation are essential to product development and viability. Although often used together, both terms mean different things. Concept validation refers to developing, testing, and iterating your products to evaluate their viability in the real world.

Besides conducting several experiments to prove your product concepts, the bulk of concept validation happens through expert reviews. User testing comes in at this stage to see if your product solves the problem. Furthermore, UX research will review how users experience your product or solution.

Concept validation is iterative, meaning you will modify your product until you have a market-ready version. This process reduces risk and optimizes your product for market demand.

You’ll need a minimum viable product (MVP) to push through concept validation. This is often a usable version with enough features for user feedback.

Concept validation can be applied to new and existing product designs. The key is assessing and shaping your product to meet market needs.

How to Validate Concepts and Ideas

Social media might present a large pool of users for concept validation. However, using a platform with pre-screened panelists like Helpfull is best. You can customize your demographic to get actionable research quickly.

Define What You Want to Learn About Your Idea

In this stage, you gather information about the product, problem, business model, and price. These are not fixed aspects, as products vary. The key is identifying the most critical assumptions surrounding your idea.

One product’s most critical assumption could be price, while another could be a key feature. At this stage, surveys are not necessary. Instead, you’ll need extensive research on already-existing quantitative data regarding the problem and your solution.

Find the Minimum Success Criteria

This stage involves making the most critical assumptions for your solution and developing a minimum success criteria. An example is a car rental business where you assume that car owners will be willing to rent out their cars to strangers. That critical assumption defines your minimum success criteria: car owners must be willing to rent out their cars.

Having minimum success criteria can be challenging because it still doesn’t paint a complete picture. For example, car owners’ unwillingness to rent their cars does not entirely point to the idea’s failure. There could be other factors that you can eliminate to validate your idea.

Develop Tests for Your Assumptions On Your Idea

It is time to get into the field for market validation. Current statistics can validate your customers. For example, a growing fitness band market already validates your customers if your product is a fitness band.

You must develop your minimum viable product and subject it to several tests. In the car rental business example, that may mean developing a digital product to control the renting process.

At this stage, you must outline what you want to test about your idea. It could be the functionality, the reception in the target market, key features, etc.

Test Your Prototype

In this stage, you deploy your prototypes or landing pages to a controlled target market. Helpfull has the tools to develop and customize your target market for concept testing.

Interviews and surveys will come in at this stage. A/B testing is another brilliant way to fast-track your iterations. An example is when you create a landing page with certain features and another with different ones.

Surveys are often enough to validate some ideas. However, they may not be enough to validate concepts.

Iterate the Prototype

You should have enough data from your research surveys to iterate your product and make a better version. The iteration process will continue until you eliminate as much risk of failure during the market launch.

Try running additional surveys based on variation iterations to see what gets the best response. Likewise you can also ask open ended questions to the panelists to see their thoughts and ideas to help you modify your plan.

Proceed or Pivot

This stage is critical to product success. Some development processes will end in pivoting, while others may discontinue. You should have enough information from the tests and iterations for concept validation.

While sometimes it's painful to let your idea go and move on it, if you're not getting data that shows it might not work its better to cut your losses far in advance.

Many large amounts of money have been lost chasing after bad business ideas. Consider yourself lucky to find this out early and move on.

Example of How Businesses Use Concept and Idea Validation

Many companies today have successfully validated their concepts enough to continue with the product. Netflix, Tesla, AirBnB, Amazon, Zappos, etc., are companies that proceeded with their business ideas. Still, others, like Instagram, pivoted to other products when their initial concept failed.

A famous example of a winning idea and concept validation is Dropbox. The company created a video demo of how its cloud-based file-syncing service worked. It received an overwhelmingly positive response from potential users, validating the idea.

Dropbox continued with concept iterations, improving file sharing, mobile accessibility, collaboration tools, etc.

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Why Should You Validate Ideas and Concepts?

Your ideas and concepts can either succeed or fail. One way to eliminate the risk of failure is by validating them.

With that in mind, the following are reasons for concept and idea validation:

- You will gather enough data to inform stakeholders
- It speeds up product development
- It minimizes costs by eliminating invalid concepts
- It minimizes the risk of product failure

Get started with business surveys!

A simple survey could be all that stands between your company and the renewed success of it’s online marketing efforts; that’s why an intuitive user-interface - coupled with the ability to gather hundreds of consumer responses in just minute - are just a few of the features that make Helpfull the ultimate tool for any artist, designer, marketer, or business owner.

Sign up with Helpfull today, and get the feedback from our online survey pollsters you need to make better business decisions.

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Types Of Concept Validation Questions

The following are questions you should ask while validating your concept:

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Is there market demand for the concept?
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Who are the potential users?
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What is the unique selling point?
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How will the concept generate revenue?
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Which features matter most to potential users?

The feedback you receive from 1000's of pollsters can be used to design or create new business solutions, refine your existing business processes to make them more efficient, and even to strengthen your relationships with your suppliers and your customers.

As a developer of products and services, I love the ability to crowdsource feedback on-demand. Helpfull makes this very easy at a good price point with a wonderful UI and UX

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Max A
President - Consumer Goods

Idea Validation Checklist

The following checklist will guide you to efficient idea validation:

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Develop assumptions about your idea
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Develop the minimum success criteria for your idea
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Define your target users
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Confirm the market demand for the idea
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Develop a minimum viable product with enough features for testing
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Prepare and send out surveys to assess your concept
Benefits of surveys for business

Set Your Concept Validation Up for Success 

Speed and a ready target audience are essential to setting up your concept validation for success. Use Helpfull.com to find thousands of panelists to review your concept. Get actionable feedback within 20 minutes.

Access a large pool of respondents among Amazon sellers, graphic designers, e-commerce companies, content creators, authors/writers, etc. Find the proper market for your idea and get real-time feedback through webcam-enabled surveys. Open an account now to begin your concept validation.