One of the greatest mistakes you can make is to launch a new idea without testing it. Many people lose thousands and millions of Naira every year on products they did not test before introducing them to the market. It’s true that the life of an entrepreneur is full of risky adventures but what we shall be discussing is how to take calculated risks.
How do you test an idea? How do you find out if people will buy it or patronize it? We shall be looking at several steps you can take before you invest too much time, money, emotion and other resources.
Be Your Own Devil’s Advocate
The easiest way to go about this is to attempt to disprove the idea that there exists a profitable demand for the product or service. If you cannot disprove this preposition, then by default you have reason to bring the product or service to the marketplace.
Seek Out People in the Same Business
A very important strategy in testing your idea is to seek out people who are already doing the same business and ask their opinions of the product or service. In the multitude of counselors there is safety. Share your idea with them and ask for their honest opinions. Don’t be afraid that someone will steal your idea. There are a thousand and one ideas out there for anyone to use. So be perfectly open.
Confirm the Demand
Before you introduce a new product or service to the marketplace, you need to make sure that there is or there will be a solid demand for it. During my speaking tour in Nairobi, I applied this technique. I produced a copy of the Audio CD of my speeches. The following day, I had an early morning program where I told the audience that the CD will be sold based on the demand and it will be available by tomorrow. Almost everyone paid. It was clear that the product will sell.
Check With Family & Friends
Family and friends are very good targets for market research. Ask your family and friends if they would buy the product or patronize the service. How much would they be willing to pay for it? Listen to their questions, criticisms and concerns. If you can’t answer their questions and concerns in a logical and convincing way, it could be that there is something wrong with your idea.
Create a Selling Promotion
A selling promotion is like an advertisement for a publication, a series of sales letters or emails. In the promotion, you would announce the product or service, and also tell people the particular time it will be available. Then you would give prospective customers the opportunity to pre-purchase at a discounted price with 100 percent money back guarantee. The key here is not to make money but to see if your customers or your marketplace will respond to your product.
Use The Seminar Approach
Organizing a seminar for your potential customers could be a great opportunity to test your idea. It will help you to have first hand information on the needs and concerns of the people. Before I published my bestselling book “There is Money in Your House” I had series of seminars with Churches on the topic. And the response from people was amazing. In fact most people were thrilled by just hearing the title. I didn’t need a seer to tell me that the book will be a market success.
Follow these steps to test your idea before you invest too many resources on it.
You will succeed!
– Chinedum Azuh
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