What's the next step after validating my idea?
I have spent a lot of time talking to people in my target market, getting feedback and have done a few surveys. I think I have sufficient interest to start building my online marketplace. What should my next steps be? I have a friend that is a developer and he can help build the marketplace, but should I spend the money to build out the marketplace now or are there other steps I should take first?
Well, an important component is missing from my perspective. One is who is your competition? All businesses have either a competitor or a way of doing that you must displace to create opportunity for your market place product or service. Once you know that, does your current research dean the opportunity sufficient to create the niche buiness opportunity to invest in? If so, next is to create a introductory prototype to test the market place.
If you build a market place, online store, make sure it's mobile friendly! Google won't even serve it on mobile search if not and over 65% of Americans are doing mobile searches these days. Very important. Invest in some really good keyword research because that is what will determine traffic to the site; ease of use of the site etc takes over then. Conversion is all about the website...keywords and I mean good ones used on web 2.0 and 3.0 properties will be the organic driver of traffic to your site. Hope this helps!
Let me congrats you that you have done all. Nothing is left. I must say you to just BRING IT ON.
You just have to keep in mind some precautions to build the marketplace
1- IDEA (its final)
2- Bring on developer. For what you will have to hire developer?
i- Proper website design (according to your niche)
ii- Functional website which helps to engage users.
3- Start marketing plan
4- Be consistent
This is it.
Now allow me to add more lines after this succession. Its all depends on what you have got from your audience. Your idea will clearly define you rather, you are a head to your target audience or your customer are a head to you. This point is crucial. The more strong and reliable idea will, the more a head your customer will.
Someone great said, if you want to go a head to your customers, you should be a great influencer. I always wish you may achieve that level.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts. Thanks
~Best of LUCK~
Speak to your friends and negotiate if any money is needed and how much will it take out of your pockets. There's a slim chance you don't have to invest to grow your idea.
Hi Brett, After you have validated your idea, the next step would be to try the Lean Startup strategy. This is where you would develop a MVP (minimal viable product) to test in the marketplace. One way of doing that would to try a crowdfunding campaign to test how your target audience reacts to your product idea. Here are links to a couple of blogs that might help you:
Not sure your exact uniqueness of your marketplace ...e.g. technology advantage or service advantage or feature advantage or client based advantage ...etc. So can't really guess what is the best next step because the online development will be different and the logistic & other infrastructure preparation will be different too.
Maybe you can clarify your position before talking about next step :)
I agree with some of the other responses in that you should make sure your intellectual property is protected. You may not be entitled to meaningful patent protection, but be sure to check out all of your options with a professional. Failure to protect your IP on the front end may result in a loss of IP and your competitive edge. Best of luck.
"Trick is in doing". So in this fast growing world, Do not depend on sequence order to finish a work, you can start both parallel.
Implement your idea if you feel it is viable- execution, not ideas is the key.
One question, when you validate your idea do you test the business model ? How will all the chain work together ?
In my opinion, the next step is related with the construction of a Business Model Canvas. This is an important tool for you to see the relationships of your business. Different of a business plan, the canvas it is not a time consuming task and will help you identify missing things at this point.
Now you can move forward and start building your market place. I suggest you to start thinking on a small set of it, as a MVP, go to your contacts in the market in order to get feedback. Consider these opinions to make adjustments.
I wish you luck in your venture.
I would suggest developing a business plan, then a develop a tag line, elevator pitch, and figure out how to get sales in the door. Make sure u understand and know our costs.
You haven't finished validating it until you can get some people to actually buy it, or at least some part of it. Revisit your minimum viable product and put that in place with the least possible use of automation. Do concierge-level service until you are pretty sure what the customers want to do on the site, and are paying you, and are happy. Then build out the automation.
Come on people- protect his idea with a patent? Really? Did you read his question.
And no Brett- you have not crossed the bridge to success and you do not have a viable business. You have exactly nothing.
I promise you- walk into ANY business and give them the most far out idea you can- "So I was thinking about importing dolphins here to Kansas City and putting advertising on them and driving them down the street in a tank. Would you pay to have your name on the dolphin?" Everyone you talk to will smile and nod and slap you on the back and tell you what a great idea that is.
Go back when you have the dolphins and see how many break out their debit cards...People like to say yes...until they have to pay up. And even early adoption by paying customers does not mean you have a business- founders can sell better than most others.
You don't need a big crazy website it sounds like since you have talked to all your early potential customers. Something free will work You don't need a business plan either. Never ever do a business plan. They are stupid. Do a quick spreadsheet to make sure you can make a business out of your idea.
The next step is to build the simplest version of your "product" that people will actually pay for. Then have them pay. And don't chase your potential customer's vision of your product.
And as weird as it sounds- positive cash flow is the last thing a new business needs- but practicality of it is that most people need that to keep going on a personal level.
If your market advantage is an idea, you need to protect your position.
Do not offer to sell or publish your ideas until you have patent pending.
You need to validate your idea within your own team first and then present to the investors as a valuable team.
Let me know your team profile to explore your idea and someone else ideas.
The interesting thing about today's market is that the internet will suffer. It seems to be monetising well and sales are up but instability in government could change all that in a flash. If you have to go on it, go soon with all guns blazing. Money is worth nothing more than a guy with a plan for it.
Building a website is comparatively easy, getting people to visit your website is the hard part. Getting them to stay and come back again is harder.
I would put up an out of the box website first and use analytic s and test the marketing
before committing to developing a platform.
I think if you have sufficient evidence that your product is viable and you have customers waiting for you .You should immediately move ahead to establish a platform to start interacting with them.
The lost time will now be a lost opportunity for you an opportunity cost .So,the earlier the better.
Everything will follow eventually.
Best of luck.
Wonderful! You have just crossed the 'dilemma' bridge and are on the other side - the side of success! Now that you know what you want to do (sell) on the online platform, it is time you hunt for one. There are lots of open-source & cloud based options. Thereafter a host of other things follow - delivery service provider, hosting, policies, staffing requirements, supplier network & sourcing model, inventory management, branding etc. You should build your plan on these and get a clear and crisp structure of operations in place. This will make you all ready to hit the market with your business.
Feel free to drop a line if you want more detailed inputs.
The longest journey starts with a first step. You've taken some steps, even have a developer. I would talk to an attorney and be sure you are starting in the right direction and then start talking with investors and associates. You won't do this alone, for sure. All the best. Good luck.