How to Validate Your Startup Idea: A Five-Step Plan

How to Validate Your Startup Idea

Startups are in abundance these days, and the good news is that it’s become much easier to find investment or other sources of funding, and put a team together. However, there is a pitfall that all too many founders find themselves falling for; they didn’t validate their idea before moving on to the next steps.

To validate a startup idea, we need to look from several perspectives:

  • How easy will it be to target my audience online using ads?
  • How much knowledge does a client need to have before he/she understands the startup idea?
  • How different is my product compared to others on the market?
  • How easily will I be able to generate non-paid traffic to my startup’s site?
  • How will my potential clients respond when they see my startup idea?

Answering these questions will give you a good base to start with, but in order to truly validate your startup plan what you really need to do is utilise research surveys. Conducting a short research survey on your startup idea will help you understand whether or not your idea is viable, and how to give it the best chance at success. You can then combine the research with the earlier questions, and you’ll have a clear picture going forward.

How to Validate Your Startup Idea

How to validate your startup idea using research surveys

Step 1:  Understand who:

  • your audience is (Webmaster, Sales Managers etc),
  • your market is (US, EU, ASIA),
  • your industry is (Retail, Healthcare, Technology)

Step 2: Gather Data! Normally, the best way to do a research survey is through email. For this, we’ll need to partner with a data vendor who will be able to provide:

  • Personal & Work Email Address
  • First & Last Name
  • Company Industry
  • Address
  • Job Title

Step 3: Find a Survey Platform. To have a successful research survey campaign, we need to make sure that the survey platform has these features:

  • Send surveys via email
  • 10+ Questions per survey
  • Anonymous Responses
  • Customized Branding
  • Filter and Compare
  • Survey Logic
  • Export Data

Step 4: Prepare the survey template for the research. The template should contain multiple types of questions, such as checklist, picklist, enter text, radio, etc. Here are some question ideas:

  • Question 1: Will my idea solve your problem regarding ……….
  • Question 2: Has any other company successfully solved your problem regarding ………
  • Question 3: Will the product price point be within your budget?
  • Question 4: Would you recommend this idea to your colleague or friend?
  • Question 5: Would you prefer the product to have a one time payment, or as a SaaS service?
  • Question 6: How much would you be willing to pay monthly if we promise that all of the features mentioned will be developed?
  • Question 7: How many of your colleagues will need to use this idea, or share the statistic & reports?
  • Question 8: How fast do you need the product to be live?
  • Question 9: Will the signup decision be more on product features, or because it has native integrations?
  • Question 10: If you have a website and/or a social network profile, would you be open to sharing our product with your friends, or maybe writing a guest post?

Step 5: Start the campaign. We have the the contact list, survey platform and survey questions. After the campaign is set up, let it run for at least 15 days in order to be sure that all contacts had the chance to take part.

If the survey receives fewer responses than you were hoping for, try to reschedule the survey campaign for one month later. If you still have few responses, then check with your data vendor on the data quality, and if needed ask for a data replacement. For a startup idea to gain value from its potential clients, we need to have at least 200 responses.

As a final note, validating a startup idea is essential for any startups who are serious about their goals and have a product which they believe will solve the most complex issues companies have. By conducting a survey as validation, startups will understand how their clients will come to view the product, how valuable it will be and how much demand there is likely to be for it.


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