April 14, 2012

Startup Success Step #5

It’s not enough that your mom loves the idea.

Many entrepreneurs are allergic to concept testing research. Sometimes it’s the expense that scares them off, or overconfidence, or the fear of a disillusioning result.

Get serious. You’ve got to prove the concept if you’re going to convince investors to fund you, or find the best messaging to communicate the idea, or make any reasonable decisions going forward.

Professional research firms highly skilled in this area are, as they say, worth the money if you’ve got the money. We’ll be happy to recommend one to you.

But what if the cost is prohibitive on your budget? There’s a work-around that won’t supply you with motivational behavior clues, but will at least give you an inexpensive way to test concept viability: online advertising. Use an ecommerce channel to test your idea against a real-world audience, looking for better hot-button headlines, or more receptive demographic segments, or price elasticity. There are creative ways to learn about your market’s willingness to accept your idea, using people who are voting with their wallets. Imagine research that pays for itself!

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