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Validating Your LOCAL BUSINESS TO CONSUMER Idea

If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.  First things first, who’s going to buy what you’re selling?  And why buy your product, or service, instead of the competitions?

Somehow you need to connect with potential customers to find out what they think of your product.  This means they must understand the product you’re proposing. Write a description;of the product that you can memorize an speak in two minutes or less.  Test this with family, friends and strangers and revise if necessary. Build a working prototype if feasible. Once you are sure that people understand your product, you are ready to expand the reach to potential customers.

The next step is to define your target customer.  Are they male or female, young or old, homeowner or renter, etc.  Once you have a customer in mind, think about how you can you connect with them.  Your goal in reaching out to potential customers is multifaceted. You want to find out if they are interested in the product.  You also want to find out what they are buying to satisfy their demand now, and who they are buying it from. And lastly you want ask how much they might be willing to pay for the product.  Here is the ask:

I think people have this problem:  problem description here.  Here is my proposed solution:  product description goes here.

  1. Is this a problem for you?

  2. If this is a problem for you what do you purchase to solve the problem?

  3. What is wrong with your current solution?

  4. How much would you be willing to spend on a better solution?

  5. Can I have your email address or phone number so that I can contact you about my soon to be ready product?

Here are some approaches to get a sampling of potential customers answers to the above questions..

  • Take a clipboard and go stop people where you are likely to meet your targeted customers.

  • Find an organization and join or speak at one of their events.

  • Build a Facebook profile like your target customers and send a paid post questionnaire to the audience.

  • Attend a event attended by your target audience and ask.

  • If you have brick and mortar competition go there and discretely talk with customers

  • If you product fits and online marketplace post your product and take orders, then either deliver or refund.

  • Post tear sheets on bulletinboards with your phone number and see how many people call.

  • Search Facebook for interest groups related to your product, join and search out local members.