Tips on how to test a startup idea without spending a fortune

Seeing how much resources are wasted and how many startups fail because an idea has not been evaluated properly and the business is selling the product nobody needs can be frustrating. The necessity of product validations seems so apparent, still many entrepreneurs neglect it.

The common reasons for neglecting a product idea validation:

  • Entrepreneurs get too confident that they know what the audience pays for without actually researching it;
  • Startupers become so excited about how the product will change the whole world that they rush to do it as soon as possible, skipping the validation phase;
  • Lack of knowledge and necessary tools for testing the idea.

The fantastic nature of product idea validation is that it’s never a waste of resources. In case it turns out that the idea will not sell, the business can move to work on another successful project without wasting resources. If the idea is validated, the team can confirm not only to themselves the greatness of the product, obtaining more confidence but to the investors and potential customers. Various procedures to test clients’ demands can show additional aspects of the product, which might be improved before building or scaling it.

The three basic product validation processes are:

  • feasibility testing demonstrating the technical possibility of creating the product at the required cost (software outsourcing for startups is typical for this phase in case of the technical expertise deficit);
  • usability testing requires typically creating a product prototype to ensure customers understand how to use the product;
  • desirability testing is the research for the potential market of the product and its demand.

Ways for validating a product idea

Market research

Overview of the market is vital to understand whether the market is actually large enough to cover the expenses of creating the product. Checking the potential clients and understanding the nature of the demand allows attracting more clients and scale. A startup might require additional development services in order to add the necessary features the market requires. Determine the major competitors and your product uniqueness, which will help you attract more clients. In case another company has already tried to develop a similar product, learn from their mistakes and improve.

Share your idea

Sharing idea about the product allows to refine it and receive feedback. Overcoming the fear that the idea might be stolen is crucial to work in the startup environment. You have to accept that many people have all kinds of ideas, but very few have enough determination for the execution and your concept will always remain unique. Only imagine that simple feedback can save thousands of dollars and months of work. Outsource development often works perfectly for this matter as you are sharing the idea with a new team.

Create a minimum viable product (MVP)

In 2020 the failure rate of the startups was over 90% due to the weak demand. So no matter how brilliant your idea might be, creating a fully-featured product will protect the startup from being a part of the negative statistics. A software development company should make an MVP to understand the users’ demand and what exactly they are willing to pay for. As indicated in this Forbes article, investors are more likely to be interested in the product with a proven interest from the customers.

The minimum viable product is an application with basic functionality to attract early adopters to receive feedback for further improvements. MVP software development helps to test the business idea and save money and time in the long run. Companies can test marketing strategies and promote a product with MVP at an early stage. Cutting on business development costs significantly becomes possible when creating basic functionality of a product.

Selling before creating

Between having a great idea and having a product that customers will pay for is a very long way. Pre-selling the product is the best way to validate the idea. Crowdfunding is one of the tools to sell something which has not been created yet. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms have made it possible for startups to test their future product and gain confidence that the clients need it. Presenting the idea, proper pricing and getting feedback from the potential customers before creating the product are priceless. So take advantage of the tools, improve and build a product that exceeds the initial idea.