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As an entrepreneur, you will be judged on your ability to constantly find new ideas to create or improve your products. But they have to be winning ideas. There are a number of methods to determine the potential of your product idea. 

Most of these methods will require a significant investment such as the MVP, the Minimum Viable Product. However, if you have some inspiration in the matter, it is possible to test your product ideas without ruining the company. This article will be your muse. Here are some techniques to test your product ideas at a lower cost. 

Try the pretotype

Building a prototype (MVP) has a cost that can be exorbitant for a startup or small company with limited resources. If you don’t have the budget to develop a prototype, you can build a pretotype. Overall, it’s about finding out if it’s really relevant to create the product. 

The implementation of a pretotype is done by proposing the product on its website. Instead of doing a thorough market study, you can simply propose the new product directly on your website to judge its potential. The customers who will visit your website will be able to click on this new product and it will be mentioned to them that the product is not in stock or that they have to pre-order.

Another alternative, if you do not already have a customer base and a website, is to set up a showcase site in beta version. On this site, you will present the product and its characteristics. It should also include a contact form that is easily accessible so that visitors can leave their comments. To get visitors on the site, you can simply share its address on social networks, with your friends, etc.

By making a judicious analysis of the data that will be collected by this fake new product or beta showcase site, you will be able to evaluate your customers’ interest in your idea. Your analysis will be based on the number of clicks on the new product. 

The average time spent on the page to read its features, the number of pre-orders, etc. This way, your company can test the potential of its product idea with customers without having to start developing an MVP or commissioning extensive market research.  

Mobilize your community to be a beta tester

We cannot say it enough, the virtual is different from the real. If you really want to have people’s opinion on your product idea, you can organize an event with a dozen potential customers who will be from your circle. 

They can test your product and suggest improvements. Even if the opinions will not necessarily be the most objective in the world, you will be able to gather information on the ergonomics of your product, its ease of use, its design and even the recommended selling price. 

In order to get the opinion of your relatives or future customers of your company, prepare a questionnaire that you can have the sample group fill out. The data that will determine whether or not to continue with your product idea should also include the profile of the people questioned. For example, age, gender, employment status, etc.

Do a concept test

If you don’t have the means or don’t want to do an in-depth market study, you can fall back on a less expensive alternative: the concept test. It consists in asking your target population for their opinion on several product ideas before they are put on the market. With concept testing, you will be able to determine which ideas will be successful and invest your time, energy and resources on these promising projects.

Conducting a concept test is done by creating test surveys. You need to select the product concepts to test and choose the indicators to measure. You can conduct a monadic survey or a sequential monadic survey with your sample and analyze the data collected. However, regardless of the type of survey you choose, you should include screening questions in your surveys to learn a little more about the participants and possibly better segment the results by group. 

If you do your concept test very well, you will have the advantage of more easily rallying support for your product idea. With the data, which is hard to dispute, you will have an idea of the receptivity of your target population. You will also have in mind the existing or potential features that are valued by prospects and the features you should consider improving. Finally, you will know which segment of your market is most likely to be interested in your product.

Attempting to raise funds through participatory financing

Crowdfunding is another way to reach out to your market without running out of steam. Depending on the product, crowdfunding can be a good way to test its attractiveness. 

It will allow you to test your concept in real life and you will take the pulse of the market. You will get a lot of feedback on your product idea in order to improve it. 

This feedback will also be useful in telling you whether to stop a project that is likely to lead you straight into the wall. This will prevent you from spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on market research or MVP that will go to waste.

Participatory financing is a powerful communication tool because it can be a great showcase that you can use to get the word out about your product ideas at a lower cost. The other advantage of crowdfunding is that it gives you the opportunity to attract your first customers. If the public supports you by financing your project, it means that they are ready to buy your product.

Francois Oikpe - Senior Content Manager | Francois loves all things about marketing and entrepreneurship. You name it, he’s most likely read it. When he’s not reading or strategizing, you can find him working on is next content that will help leaders empower their workers.

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