The Start Up Journey: Questions, Questions, Questions
It seems like there are a lot more questions than answers at this stage.
You have the experience and the passion so it's difficult not to get excited about this new prospect in your life. However, a good dose of realism is important to complement your optimism. This isn’t to say that negativity is needed. Far from it. Playing devil’s advocate with your ideas, especially your best ideas, usually strengthens your offering.
Ask a friend, a family member, a mentor but without this secondary perspective, it’ll be difficult to decipher which ideas have weight, which do not and which you need to tweak.
The most effective method for finding a good indicator on your business idea is to go straight to the source. Your future target audience. No speculation, guesswork or assumptions. Actual information from actual people. The Geordies have the best phrase, "shy bairns get nowt." Translation: If you don't ask, you don't get.
What's the worst that can happen? You don't get any answers? Well you're just at the same place you are now. Maybe they tell you your idea is way off? Well, which bits? What do you need to improve? Even if you receive negative information, you're still receiving more information than you had before and this is valuable. Your hunch is being moulded into something viable.
When I channelled my inner Geordie to ask those who would be making up my target audience, I found that I was receiving the same information from them. All these businesses were having the same experiences:
Needed marketing but weren’t sure in what capacity
Needed marketing but wasn't sure what to ask for
Had marketing but was frustrated about not getting entirely what they thought they’d asked for
Everyone looked the same to them: agency, freelancer or in-house. So it felt more like a gamble to hire someone rather than a calculated action.
Business leaders have companies to run, products to sell, rounds of investment to secure. When they need a service, they don't want to risk wasting unnecessary finance and resource acquiring it. Before you dive head first into launching your business, make sure you know the challenges your target market is facing, what solution you’re bringing and have it validated directly by a representative of that industry.
When your instincts and passion are supported by evidence of need, it's time to start up that business but what does that involve? What is needed? How do you go about setting it up officially?
Seems obvious now but you only know what you know! In the next blog post, we’ll address the fundamentals. If you have any tips for validating your ideas at any stage of a business, let us know in the comments.