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?
I would say the first step would be to get all your online presence taken care of (i.e. nice looking and functioning website, social profiles, listings etc...). And while this is happening, you can start to build your targeted list and strategic sales and marketing plan. But your online presence needs to be your first action taken because over 60% of buying decisions happen before you even talk to people these days and that is because they are doing their research and checking you out online.
Best of luck!
Congratulations on getting this far with your business idea. Now that you have achieved this milestone, I'd suggest you move quickly to develop an MVP, and here's why.
Q. I think I have sufficient interest to start building my online marketplace. What should my next steps be?
A. You need to continue your conversation with your audience and utilise that data to develop Version one of your product, an (MVP) Minimal Viable Product. At this pout, let the feedback data drive your development. You are in a good position to understand how your business idea is going to solve the problems you envisaged.
Q. 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?
A. There isn't a better time than now. I will recommend you team up with your friend to develop your prototype. (Just ensure that you have a solid agreement/arrangements that guarantees the product development and ensures protection against your IP).
You now need to give people a feel of your product. This will enable you to evaluate and iron out what works and what doesn't. Remember, at this point, you're still in seed stage, therefore, product evaluation based on real feedback on what works and what doesn't is crucial in driving your R&D strategy.
Continue to have a discussion with your target audience to gauge whether their needs are likely to change and how they envisage those problems in the future. This will also help you develop the right strategies for scaling.
Hope this helps and feel free to connect if I can be of further help.
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.
I would take both Roland's and Ivory answers and design a low cost revenue model that allows your audience to experience your solution and fund your business early.
Your early research should have yielded for you the price range your audience would be willing to spend for your product/service.
You must now prove your idea is commercially viable through your MVP.
You might begin with an invitation to them to be part of the beta development and introduce a low price point of something while your beta gets underway.
You will know immediately whether or not your target has real interest when they say yes making low-priced purchases as Ivory refers to as your hook.
I would think through your spending very carefully since you will want to maintain a consistent positive cash flow. Also, invest back into your business as it grows.
Small tips but with care you should be able to achieve a business built on a firm foundation.
Hope this helps.
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 :)
GET STARTED! DROP YOUR HOOK! A fisherman discovers a great fishing hole, gets there, baits his/her hook and drop it in the water. There is no view under water, only hope and expectations. The only way to catch a fish is to drop your hook. Sometimes you think you are going to get a fish and you get a whale. Be ready, there will be no time to get ready. Do something, anything; just get started. The paralysis of analysis has killed many great ideas.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Now you need to develop a business plan to insure that you have a successful start-up.
If you already have a web site with your products or service.
The number one thing that you need is quality traffic , and a system to automate the selling process.
I have spent over 20 years reaching ways to to maximise results from services I represent.
If you are looking for the most advanced way to results, you can contact me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.