One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re starting out in entrepreneurship is to say to yourself: I have a frustration and I know how to solve it, I go for it! The Golden Rule to avoid sinking … in the wall, it’sget feedback from your potential customers before you get started. This can save you time and money. Today, I share with you 5 effective strategies to validate your idea of ​​creating businesses quickly and on a small budget …

1) Join a community of enthusiasts

One of the best business ideas is one that resolves great frustration.

Richard Branson says it: “The best companies come from people’s bad personal experiences. If you keep your eyes open, you’re going to find something that frustrates you, and then you think, “well, maybe I could do better than what exists”, and there you have a deal. “

Do you want to find out what problem you can solve?

Join a community that shares a common passion. You will find groups, Facebook or LinkedIn, for all kinds of interests.

Look at this Facebook group over 50,000 fans knitting!

Facebook group

Or this LinkedIn group of Parisian professionals who are interested in Big Data.

LinkedIn Big Data Paris Group

Read what is said and ask questions to start a discussion. You will find out from your target customers what they are looking for. Thus, you can create a service or product that meets their needs and have an undeniable advantage over existing competition.

2) Post guest articles

The logic of a guest article is simple.

Like a movie trailer, the guest article gives you the opportunity to present the idea you want to validate on popular sites that are the target audience.

In your guest article, which should be linked to your business idea, include a link to where readers can find out more about your idea.

This is exactly what I do via this article.

My idea: create a site for helping tomorrow’s entrepreneurs find the motivation and strategies they need to start their own entrepreneurial adventure and live the life they have always dreamed of.

How do I know if anyone else is interested except me? ?

I publish guest articles on entrepreneurship on blogs, such as CWT Advertising & co’m, where I know my target audience is going.

I take care to create a page where readers will be able to learn more about my project.

If the interest is shared, a beginning of community begins to form.

I’m engaging in conversation with these early subscribers to create the foundation for a future community.

3) Use Facebook advertising

Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media guru in the United States, said, ” The most undervalued advertising product is Facebook advertising. If you were to sell to feed your children, you would put your money into it. “

Facebook advertising is powerful because it allows laser targeting according to extremely precise socio-demographic criteria such as the language spoken, the location of your customers, their centers of interest, their purchasing habits, their family situation …

11,000 elderly people who live in Nantes are interested in gardening. If that’s your target, you can only advertise to those people. Powerful, isn’t it?

Facebook advertising example targeting

If you’re ready to allocate $ 100 or $ 200 to drive traffic to a presentation page, you can expect to receive a few hundred highly targeted visitors to find your idea.

By offering a free guide (a tutorial, a list of resources, a video, a case study, etc.), you will be able to obtain a list of leads. These will allow you to adapt your initial idea to the needs of the market.

4) Open the pre-orders

Need to validate a product idea or online training? Why not offer it in pre-order at a reduced price. This is the best way to find out if people are willing to buy it.

To do this, you will create an MVP.

MVP (minimum viable product) is a product development strategy, used for rapid and quantitative tests to market a product or functionality.

This is the Wikipedia definition of MVP and it is exactly what you need for a pre-order.

The goal: present your product or service by saying enough to put water in the mouth of your prospects, but not too much either to avoid wasting too much time.

It could be :

A 4 or 5 page document : 1st chapter of your future book or the 1re lesson from your future course.

A video : This is the case of the MVP for the launch of the startup DropBox. Drew Houston, the co-founder of Dropbox, managed to attract more than 70,000 members to his community with this video before starting to develop his service, which today has more than 500 million users.

A simple sales page : like Joel Gascoigne did for the launch of Buffer. Buffer, which publishes messages on social media, now generates around $ 1.5 million in revenue per month. It makes you want, doesn’t it! ?

MVP Buffer

… Or any other format that allows you to present your product to your future customers.

You can request a payment simply by communicating to your prospects a PayPal link, or for something more successful, a sales page on Gumroad for example. For offline payment, you can get a free card payment terminal like Sumup.

5) Start an online viral contest

viral contest

An online contest is one of the best ways to boost your prospect list on ONE condition: choose the right price !

One of the fatal mistakes would be to offer a Prize to win which does not correspond to the community you are targeting and which will attract people who are not at all interested in your future business. The typical example of a gift to avoid is the iPhone or iPad.

If you want to validate a hiker product idea, check out what a hiker would most like:

  • A backpack that protects both your camera gear and your personal belongings;
  • Or a gourd with integrated filter to drink water in nature;
  • Or a coaching session with a recognized professional hiker.

Then make sure to make your contest viral by encouraging sharing on social media. If you can ask each participant to sponsor five of their friends, your contest can go viral very quickly and allow you to create a large list of prospects. The WordPress Kingsumo plugin allows this natively.

Conclusion

Ultimately, to be successful in any business, you have to be able to help people solve real problems.

The trick is that you need more time, money or experience before you start building your business. This state of mind prevents many aspiring entrepreneurs from freeing themselves to realize their dreams, change their lives and the lives of many others.

You have to make do with what you have. Start by validating your idea. The goal is to get an overview of the viability of your future business. It is not a guarantee of success.

Without validation, you run the risk of creating a solution to a problem that does not exist. Start without grandiose expectations and just try to be useful to others. Help them overcome their difficulties, document what works and see where it takes you.