One of the most important things you can do once you have your business idea, before you do any work, is to validate your idea. You need to know that your business idea is going to be profitable for you based on your business goals. I mean, what is the point of starting a business if you don’t even know your idea is a good one? Right?
There are several ways to validate your business idea from basic validation to more in-depth research. I’m going to cover two that are perfect for young aspiring entrepreneurs. Let’s start with the easiest.
This is by far the easiest (and the least scary) way to validate your business idea. You can talk with your family and friends to get their input. Present them with your idea and get their feedback. You should be doing that with at least your parents anyways because they are going to play a large part in supporting your business. Make sure you have thought through some of the basics of your idea.
These are a few things that you can think about before approaching them to show them you have put some thought into your idea.
There are a few pros and cons of this form of validation:
First, it’s quick and easy. You don’t have to invest much time or money into asking your friends and family if they would buy your product or service. The next time you are together, just ask.
Second, it’s free. When you are a teen starting a business, you are most likely not going to have much money to invest. So by asking family & friends, you are not spending any money on validation.
The biggest disadvantage in polling your family and friends about your business ideas are their preconceived notions. What do I mean exactly? Well, family especially, have known you all their lives. They will most likely shoot you down by saying things like “you procrastinate too much” or “you are too lazy to start a business”. Maybe they have preconceived ideas about what type of people “should” start a business. “Only adults should start a business.” “Only a college graduate should start a business.” They are not bad people, honestly. They are just looking out for your best interests and really do think they are helping. These are the types of things that are commonly misunderstood about the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
What can you do about this? Think through your idea thoroughly and figure out the basics I mentioned above. Also, think about it from the other side. Try to figure out who might have questions and what objections they might have and come up with a counterpoint.
For example, your grandfather might say “What do you know about starting a business? You are just a kid.” Well, in Grandpa’s day, they did not have the technological capabilities that they have now. So you can explain to him how many people are making a living online. Even give him some examples of those people. Then explain to him that you have grown up with all this new technology and it comes easily to you.
Okay, so that is the easiest, cheapest and least intimidating way of validating your idea. Let’s cover one more group of people you can ask.
Yep, just go out and ask the people most likely to buy your product or service. Maybe you make fashion accessories for teen girls. Hand out some prototypes of your products at your high school and then ask for feedback.
If your business idea is making a living on YouTube, you have several options. Poll your friends and find out what types of videos they watch most. Ask them if they would watch the types of videos you want to produce.
go to YouTube and do some research. Over the course of a month, keep your eyes open to what videos your friends are sharing on social media and what videos are trending on YouTube.
So there are a couple of ways for you to validate your business ideas. One more I’d like to add is that you can ask me. I love to help teens get started in starting a business. Leave a comment below with your business idea or questions you have. I promise to respond within 24 hours!