How should you validate your startup idea? This is, without a doubt, the most significant question you need to address before immersing yourself in the lengthy journey of product creation and launch. The best approach would kick off by formulating an effective Research Plan meant to ascertain the viability of your innovative startup idea.

A well-thought-out Research Plan is conspicuously effective. It combines the bare essential requirements yet simultaneously ensures thorough coverage of the research subject. There are numerous examples of startups that dedicate massive amounts of time and resources for their pitch, only to be later told by investors or similar authorities that their product is a duplicate or worse, that it has been in circulation in other markets for an extended duration.

Setting Search Objectives

A successful research outcome demands answers to several paramount questions, with responses that satisfy both your startup’s needs and those of possible investors.

Tip: To check How To Determine Your Customer Segments Using The SPA Method , refer to ‘Identifying Your Customer segmentation with the SPA Approach’ and learn where you should direct your preliminary attention.

Addressing the Issue: The Link Between Startup Success and Problem Magnitude

Startups or any business operation are typically designed to cater to a specific need as identified by their founders. This need could stem from personal experiences or a simple observation of an underlying issue. The primary purpose of establishing a business is to remedy an existing problem. The more significant or severe the problem is, the higher the chances of the startup thriving. Notably, one of the most dangerous scenarios for a startup is crafting a solution without first clearly defining the problem it intends to solve. This mindset, paid for dearly, accounts for about 42% of startup failures. Pinpointing the market need is absolutely crucial, making it imperative for the startup to delineate this need with precision.

Moreover, understanding the level of inconvenience your startup is designed to ease is paramount. If your offering is just ‘faster, smaller, cheaper,’ without solving a significant problem, establishing your brand in the saturated market may prove difficult. On the contrary, if the issue at hand is truly pressing and your product or service lessens or eliminates it, demand for your solution is bound to soar naturally. Remember, ‘faster, smaller, cheaper’ might not always be the shortcut to problem eradication.

Identifying Your Target Audience

To whom does your solution cater and to what extent? It’s at this juncture that one figures out who the customers are, develops customer personas, and outlines the target market.

A comprehensive understanding of your target audience helps determine if the potential market for your product or service is wide enough to attract investor attention. This also prompts you to evaluate if you are genuinely ready to dedicate resources and possibly the next few years of your life to a startup that may only appeal to a limited market. This, of course, hinges on the pricing model you opt for your product. Opting for premium pricing could help you cater to a specific niche market. Simply put, your product’s price would vary based on your target audience and other factors such as market competition. However, the revenue and profit figures should align with your investors’ expectations. It’s necessary to outline your Total Addressable Market (TAM) and confirm that the potential market size justifies your startup development efforts.


Considering who else is working to solve the same problem? Are there additional startups striving to top the same market segment?

Having competitors serves positively, it signifies that a market need exists and a problem is verifiable. Conversely, if you stand alone in dealing with the issue, it could mean that the problem isn’t crucial enough to demand the attention of startups and investors. Or, you might be a trailblazer whose solutions are yet to be recognised by the market.

Upon spotting the primary competitors and initiating the first steps, your ensuing action must be to carry out a SWOT analysis.

Tip: For an exhaustive guide on Employ SWOT Analysis For Your Startup, refer to the article, ‘Implement SWOT Analysis For Your Startup.’

Note that if a problem persists, creates significant distress, and the market forecast appears bright, there are high chances someone else is also probably conceiving an appropriate solution. Numerous startups function in the ‘stealth mode,’ silently solving problems at full throttle, planning to snatch the market once their product is prepared.

Usage of Reliable Research Aids

The challenge isn’t just in posing the right questions. Finding credible sources that provide valid answers is indeed a bigger one. The help of a seasoned researcher is priceless in implementing productive market research. Not only should you know the suitable questions but be capable of understanding the responses and validate their accuracy.

In today’s digital era, Google search stands as a quick remedy for immediate answers. However, while leveraging Google’s vast reach, remember it primarily aims at directing you towards pertinent purchasing decisions. Despite the trustworthy answers to your inquiries, Google’s search biases and business regulations might result in skewed research. Occasionally, in-depth analysis using sector-specific aids proves necessary. Many industry associations can offer more accurate insights.

Here’s a compilation of accessible platforms offering diverse data for research:

  • Amazon
  • Yelp
  • Google Business (Local)
  • Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Amazon Launchpad
  • Pinterest, Etsy
  • Startup groups on Facebook
  • Meetups

It would be prudent to extend this list of resources where you can carry out competitor analysis on already financed ventures. This venture could be similar to your startup, have an analogous concept, or working on the same project but missing the distinctive factor that makes your idea unique.

Platforms rich in information, such as CrunchBase, are worth delving into. A regular stop at TechCrunch ensures you stay informed about the startup economy.

Review Research Results

This final step is key. It might be as simple as comparing data in a spreadsheet, or might involve in-depth statistics to pinpoint what’s optimal for your startup.

The ultimate finding from your research should confirm the existence of a substantial problem compelling enough for clients to seek your solution, and an acknowledgement that a market that can meet a VC partner’s investment criteria is present.

Running your startup via an incubator or accelerator always proves helpful for idea validation, thorough research and preparing you and your team for dialogues with investors. These establishments specialize in spotting startup ideas with potential and offer support in bringing them to the market.

Tip: Refer to our resource page for a complete list of incubators and accelerators in Los Angeles area.

Importance Of Idea Validation Process

Carrying out in-depth competitor analysis and extensive research on your idea is a crucial first step on your entrepreneurial journey. This process should be stimulating, since it mirrors the sophistication of your thinking process. It helps guide idea refinement and might even create new ideas, contributing to your startup’s growth even before its official launch.

Furthermore, having profound knowledge in your chosen sector provides you with a competitive edge and the self-assuredness needed to present your idea convincingly to potential investors.

Use analytical tools like SPA and SWOT to adopt best practices and optimize your competitive edge. Such strategic planning and analysis will greatly enhance your relations with investors.


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