When you are creating a technology company, it is important that you prove your concept. Proof of concept can be defined as collecting evidence that will determine if your product idea is feasible. This step in the process of starting your company is very significant, many first-time entrepreneurs skip this step, which cost them a lot of time and resources. However, this trap can easily be avoided with these simple steps: 1) Create a test group, 2) Ask the right questions, 3) Analyze the data & Implement feedback. Following these steps will ensure that you are building the product the customer wants.
1. Creating a Test Group
When you are creating a test, keep in mind all of the different type of customers your product serves. Your test group should consist of these types of customer identities: end-user, influencer, recommender, economic buy, decision-maker, and saboteur. This will allow you to collect more insightful data.
End-user – the day-to-day user of the product, and/or service.
Influencers – and individual that can influence trends in the industry or community on social media platforms.
Recommenders – Individuals or entities that have the power to make or break a deal due to their recommendation. For example, a widely read blog, or the head of an organization in your target market.
Economic Buyers – The individual who approves the purchasing or budget of the company. Depending on the type of company you are starting, you will have to know the mindset of the person who is in charge of purchasing the product and the benefits of using your company vs another.
Decision Maker – The decision-maker might be the economic buyer or could be higher up in the company. They have the ultimate purchasing and implementation power.
Saboteurs – This customer is known to slow down the process. Often known as the person that likes the old method of doing things and doesn’t want to change.
2. Ask the Right Questions
Now that you have your test group, and have demo your product, it is time to receive their feedback. You do this by asking a collection of open-ended and leading questions in a test group meeting. Open-ended questions are designed for individuals to responded with a meaningful answer that is based on their knowledge and feelings of the product. While a leading question is asked in a way that it produces the desired answer. These questions are great toward the end of the meetings.
3. Analyze the Data & Implement Feedback
The feedback that you receive in the test group is crucial for the development of your company. Their feedback will determine the features your product needs, whether it is the MVP or version 6. Take time to really build a relationship with your customer, and understand what the customers want.
Now that you have heard the customers concerns and determined their true wants, it is time to implement those features into your product. This will ensure that your product adds value to the market and has the best chance to be successful.
Proving your concept is a great way to understand the value of your business. It allows you to save time and resources, while you begin an ongoing relationship with your customers. But ultimately it allows you to create a feasible product that adds value to the market. So, remember always create a test group, ask the right questions, analyzing their responses, then implement their feedback.