The success of any business lies in its ability to take calculated risks. Hence, as a side gig entrepreneur you must employ testing methods that can help you determine the profitability or lack thereof for your ideas. As Warren Buffett put it: “Never test the depth of a river with both feet.”
Contrary to popular belief, extensive market testing is not just for large companies with deep pockets. In fact, here we present you a list of no-nonsense techniques that can help you test your product or service for market viability. And here’s more good news: they won’t take a huge chunk of your funds.
A good start is to know the level of your competition, the types of marketing efforts they’re employing, and the quality of their product or service. The goal is to replicate their success and fill the gaps where they fall short. Other aspects you should also look into include your competitor’s websites, foot traffic, and promotions.
A lot of entrepreneurs found success after realizing that the market has not yet provided a solution to their problem. For instance, a diabetic patient has found success in her low glycemic desserts, a polyglot who created a website for language learners after realizing that no one was offering online products for active listening, and a young boy who ventured into a recycling business after seeing a heap of trash in his small community.
The gist of this methodology is to validate the demand for your product or service.
Today’s consumers are more informed than ever and understanding your target persona’s demographics and pain points will help you provide a better customer experience. As an side gig entrepreneur, create a simple buyer persona of your ideal customer and list out the traits that represent your ideal customer. If you’re unsure how to build it, check out our article: What is a Buyer Persona? When you understand your target persona, you’ll better understand their needs and wants.
MVP is a bare-bones version of your product. Nonetheless, even in its simplest form, it should actually sell as a product, although the primary goal in the meantime is not to profit from it, but to validate the demand and possibly tweak it in response to the feedback by actual users.
Your critics should be composed of potential customers that fit your target buyer persona. Ideally, handpick people (possibly friends, family members, and acquaintances) who are extra critical and skeptical in an attempt to get more honest feedback.
Your target customers, actual users, and “critics” will all play an important role in the formal launch of your product or service. The goal here is to use their honest feedback so you can polish or tweak your ideas, or even abandon them altogether if they don’t have a strong market demand.