Ever wondered how to bring that product idea scribbled on a napkin in last night's bar into a reality? We come all come up with revolutionary ideas that simply don't make it to market because of the many, many hurdles you need to overcome to actually get it out there.
So, I've written a helpful guide to get your idea from that concept you thought of in the shower to a product that you can sell on Amazon. Missed the first step? Head on over to Step 1 before you go any further.
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2. See If There’s A Reason It Doesn’t Exist Already
So you’ve established that there’s nothing out there in the world quite like your idea. Awesome! But wait. Who’s to say there’s nothing out there for a reason? It may be that your idea isn’t already out there because no one actually wants to buy it.
Image courtesy of awesomeinventions.com
As tough as this might be to accept, it’s much better to come to this realization early, rather than years down the road when you’ve invested a lot of time and money into something that, unfortunately, might not see customers flocking to you.
Here are 4 things you can do (and 1 thing you should not do) to determine if there’s demand for your idea…
1. DO: See If The Problem Is Being Solved In Other Ways Already
Use the same research methods highlighted in Section 1 to see if there are products out there already which solve the problem you’re focused on, but are going about it a different way.
For example, say you’ve come up with an innovative new way to clean driveways. You’d soon find through research that people are already selling brooms, leaf blowers, pressure washers and other tools to clean driveways with. If your idea is more efficient, quieter, quicker, cheaper or easier to use than any of these then you might be onto a winner.
2. DO: Run An Online Survey
One way of getting lots of unbiased opinions about your idea could be to run an online survey and ask people to answer a series of questions about the problem you’re trying to solve, in particular:
- Is the problem something they can relate to?
- Would they pay money for a solution?
To get people to fill out the survey you could run a Facebook advert targeted at people you think would be interested in your product, perhaps with a prize draw as an incentive. You could also invite your wider network to participate. Another option is to use companies like Infoserv or Marketest who will help create a survey and even go out and find participants for you. Though be prepared to pay quite a bit more for something like this.
3. DO: Quiz Strangers
Strangers don’t owe you anything, and so are far less likely to sugar-coat their feedback. While this is hugely valuable, bear it mind it might make for hard hearing at times!
To find strangers to ask, you could:
- Stand in the center of town with a clip-board.
- Rent a small stand at a trade-show.
- Book a stall at a local craft fair.
4. DO: “Sell” Something That Doesn’t Exist
Run an advert for a “product that [insert your idea’s key benefit here]”. Though be sure not to give anything specific away about your product. If you see a lot of people interacting with this ad, at a low cost per click (CPC), this could be an indicator it’s something people are interested in. I wouldn’t recommending using this method as your only research strategy however, as a number of factors could be at play affecting this data.
As you wouldn’t have anything to sell at this point you could link the advert to a landing page saying the product is in development, and ask people to enter their email to stay updated. This way you’re building an audience of potential customers at the same time!
5. DO NOT: Rely On Feedback From Friends & Family
Seriously, don’t! Your friends and family will rightly care much more about your feelings than strangers and so are far more likely to tell you what you want to hear, whether intentionally or not.
Don’t be tempted to take their enthusiasm as validation and rush to the next step. You have been warned.
That's all for now, but tune in next week for Step 3! Any questions? Let us know in the comments.