Step 2: Talk to future customers where they are most comfortable
Now, it’s time to do the hardest part: talking to your future customers. No matter what type of business you plan to start, you will be able to find future customers to speak to. If you can’t find strangers to speak to now, how are you going to find them once you’ve launched?
It’s important to try and only speak to strangers. Friends and family are only going to be nice to you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, or (like my mother did) try to convince you that your idea is too risky and will never work.
Here are some great places to talk to future customers:
Facebook and Reddit - Both platforms are overflowing with sub groups of all kinds. Join the groups where your future customers spend the most time, and politely ask them for help. You’ll be shocked with how honest and receptive most people will be if you are upfront and polite. Note: every group has rules, so spend some time in these groups observing before you dive in head first.
Amazon Mechanical Turk - for ~$1-2 a response you can have perfectly good strangers answer a few short survey items for you.
At the end of the day, you want to answer these three questions:
What do you think of my idea?
Do not ask leading questions! Don’t ask questions like “How much do you like my product?” You want their unprompted feedback!
What would you need to see/hear to be convinced to purchase this product? (e.g., how would you change this to make it for you?)
How much would you pay for something like this?
Note about the coming steps: Building a solid foundation is the more important and difficult part. If the next steps feel short, it’s because entire books have been written on each step. I’ll link to useful articles and books for you to check out. If you need someone to talk to, I (and my team) are a phone call away!
Step 3: Create your minimal viable product (MVP)
If Step 2 is the hardest part, this part is the most fun. Your job now is to spend the least amount of money possible to accurately communicate your idea and look legitimate. Depending on what you are starting, this can look like:
Working on a beautifully designed landing page
Developing a logo and brand name that catches people’s attention
Nailing down the value you are creating for your future customers in 3-4 short bullet points
3D printing your product idea (cheaply and quickly) and taking nice pictures with your phone
You should not spend a ton of money in this phase (save that for the later steps!), but be sure that whatever you make looks clean and professional. Pay for help when you can’t do something yourself. Have your favorite friend or family member (read: youngest) look at what you’ve put together and suggest changes you can make that will help your brand look modern and trustworthy.
Now is the time to figure out how much your product or service is going to cost YOU to implement, and gut check that the price people are willing to pay is worth your while. If the two don’t sync, you’ll have to either raise your price and test that out in step 4 or find a way to make your product/service cheaper.
Always remember the old adage “perfect is the enemy of the good.” You need everything to look as professional as possible, but not perfect. Striving for perfection will turn a 3-week fun project into a year-long nightmare. As you’ll see later on, things will change and be modified so harping on every little detail will only hurt you at this stage.
HZQ IS HERE TO HELP
No matter where you are in the process, HZQ is here to help you grow mighty. From helping you test your idea to taking established businesses to the next level, we have the experience and tools to help you do what you love everyday of your life.
Click the button below to schedule a 15 minute chat with us. We have a no hard sell guarantee. We just want to hear where you’re at in the process, lend any helpful advice, and see if we can be of service either now or in the future.