It’s exciting when you come up with a new product or service, but how can you make sure there’s a market for your business idea? You know there’s a gap in the market but you’re not sure your offering is the right fit.
Do you wonder if you have the right solution for your market, or if there’s even a market for what you do?
First, let me reassure you, this is such a common feeling for entrepreneurs at key stages in their business.
Second, let’s break this down into four key questions you can ask yourself about your business idea, so you can stop feeling like that.
1 – Have you Done the Research?
Whatever it is you’re trying to sell, the first step is to do your research. You need to identify who your customer is and clarify exactly what their need is.
This blog on customer profiling will help but start with these questions first. Ask yourself:
- Who are they, where are they and why are they the right customer for you?
- What is the problem they have that you want to solve?
- Are they actively looking for a solution to this problem?
- Where are they looking to solve this problem?
- How are they looking? Are they asking a friend, googling a specific phrase etc? What do you know about how they are looking?
- Are there enough of them out there to make your business idea viable?
I know that even established business owners worry from time to time about their offerings. You’ve done your research, identified the market and had some sales. You may even have been selling your product or service for a while and you’ve had a few customers, but not as many as you’d like.
You’re doing all the things people tell you to do – you’re on Instagram, LinkedIn, all the platforms all the time; you’ve got great landing pages and you feel busy.
You still feel some doubt about the market for your business idea. So what do you look at next?
2 – Have You Listened to What the Marketing is Telling You?
When you did the research, did you get the answers you really needed, or did you carry it out in such a way that you got the answers that backed up what you assumed about the market?
Entrepreneurs are naturally busy people, and we’re often so keen to do our own thing that we don’t pause and listen to what the market is telling us. Maybe you heard that there was a need in your market so you built a product and put it out there.
Possibly, you felt you didn’t have time to wait to listen to feedback from your customers, because you believed so strongly in your offering.
Maybe, you didn’t anticipate any problems that your customer might have when they actually start to use your product or service. Maybe:
- The product didn’t work the way they wanted it to
- The buying process was too complicated
- The price point was wrong for the customer you were targeting
- The person who can afford it doesn’t know about it
- They’d like a little more or less than you’re giving them
Listen to Your Customers Feedback on Your Business Idea
Not listening to our market is what leads to uncertainty.
And then listen to the feedback they give you to tweak and improve your offering. They are your strongest advocates.
By not listening, you can create a chasm between you and your market. Give your customers your full attention and they will keep speaking to you and guide you through the process.
If you do listen, you’ll never wonder if you have the right product again because you’ll already know.
Your customers will have helped you build it.
3 – Are You Building a Portfolio or Building a Business Idea?
If you’ve built something that’s not quite right for your market, you might be tempted to create a new product or service to suit better. And then another product, and another, none of which are ever perfect.
Think about it; do you know of any examples where the product out there is “perfect”? Every product or service that has ever been built has evolved to become what it is today. Unless, of course, it’s a real “dodo”. I make the assumption here that if you’ve gotten this far you have something that can be built on.
Portfolio building is exhausting, and it won’t grow your business. You need to stay the course, lean in and tweak. When you feel the need to abandon your current offering, don’t rush to create a new product. Listen to your customers and improve on what you already have.
Maybe there’s been a dip in sales, or you don’t hear from happy customers enough to reassure you that you’re doing the right thing. Creating a new product might bring the magic back – you think to yourself. And at least you’d be doing something!
The reality is that the magic happens when you back your own product and move to the next stage in the development cycle reaching the customers you wanted to help at the very start of this process.
It’s not always as simple as wondering if there’s a market for your offering. Once you’ve proved that there is one, then you need to connect with your customer and stay in touch with them. They’ll help you course-correct your products as you grow.
4 – Did You Build Your Marketing Engine?
So often on this journey, entrepreneurs put all their energy into the start of the game when they build their product or service and then run out of steam. The reality is; this is just the first half of the game. It’s what American Football fans call the 50 Yard Line.
Or rather, enough of them won’t come for you to get a good enough return on your efforts. It’s common to feel uncertain at this point and question if your business idea is right for the market.
So remember to pace yourself. Don’t just put all the effort in at the beginning and then run out of steam. Take a deep breath, build your marketing engine and find the stamina to keep that engine going. You’ve chosen the right customer, built your brand and developed the perfect products. Now, it’s time to focus on your marketing engine to take the business the rest of the way.
If you’d like to know more about how to build the marketing engine for your business then check out our signature program Get Strategic Get Results™ . In this comprehensive program, you’ll learn how to build a marketing engine that feels like you and speaks to your customers with powerful results.
And if you’ve any questions or insights you’d like to share about this topic, please do so below in the comments.