In our second blog on the topic of product market fit, we address the process of customer validation. Read more about the first step of the process – customer discovery – in part one of the series.
Let’s assume that you have successfully done your customer discovery and you have come up with what you believe to be the best solution to the biggest problem. Now what?
What is Customer Validation?
Simply put, validation is the process of confirming whether or not customers will pay for your product or service. Validation is the final step before you can really introduce your product to the market. The questions you are looking to answer in the validation process are:
- Who will pay for the solution?
- How much are they willing to pay?
How to Validate
It’s one thing for a friend or family member or even a stranger to tell you that they like your idea and think it’s ‘good,’ but it’s another thing entirely for someone to put their money where their mouth is and actually pay for your solution.
So how do you go about validating your product or service? Here are two of the easiest tactics to pursue:
The Landing Page Method
This method is a favorite of Max Mirho, founder and host of EntrepreNerd. Max lays out this process in the above video, where he discusses creating a simple, one-page website (using any number of cheap, easy-to-use site builders) that includes a description of your product and maybe a graphic or image, and then create a ‘buy now’ button. When customers click on this button, it will take them to a simple form, where they can enter their name, email, and/or phone number to be notified when your product is ready to actually buy. If enough customers go through the process of physically clicking on your ‘buy now’ button, and then filling in their information, you have the validation you need to take your idea to the next step-production.
The Small-Scale Method
This method is a little riskier and more expensive than the previous one. Essentially you take your idea into production and make it on a very small scale. If it’s a product, only produce a limited number, and if it’s a service, only offer it to a small number of people. If people buy your product or service, consider it validated and if not, it’s back to the drawing board.
Customer Validation is Your Ticket to Revenue
Remember that half of all businesses fail in the first 5 years. Lack of product market fit is one of the primary reasons they fail. Validating your product or service with actual customers is one of the best ways to ensure your business doesn’t become a statistic. For a deeper dive on this topic, watch Max Mirho’s video to see him detail the process using a real world example.
This post is a collaborative effort by Marco Johnson, Sparkyard Network Builder, and Trent Barron, student intern at HSC Next.
About the Author
Trent Barron is a student intern for the Next department at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Trent is a Fort Worth native, but is a fourth year student at the University of Georgia, pursuing a BA in Cognitive Science, with a Minor in Business, a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and a Certificate in New Media Studies. Go Dawgs and Texas Forever!