Is Your Product/Service Viable? - Lean Startup Hong Kong

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One of the biggest mistakes of failed entrepreneurs is coming up with a product/service that THEY BELIEVE is in demand, which is based on perception or personal influence. Time and money are spent working to produce a product offering and when brought to market, they find out that their prospective customers really don’t care for the idea. So how do you avoid this without putting too much capital at risk? The answer is to test your idea by pre-marketing to your perspective customer.


There are many ways to test your idea to understand if it is not only sell-able but also sustainable. Even if your strategy is to ride a trend with an exit strategy to sell your company in a short time, you need to test market your idea and then take the feedback to either redevelop your idea or throw it in the trash and start again.


In our first of seven “Lean Startup” series, where we focus on how to come up with your business idea and how to test its attraction to your intended customer. We focusing on using technology to gain insight and to test market an idea. This session will help you take an existing or new idea and creating a model that is sustainable for long term growth.


1) Coming up with an idea (Brainstorming and attracting your most valuable skills) Note: Ideas generating worksheet provided


2) Researching your idea (Using the internet(social media channels, forums, blogs etc to gain intimate knowledge of what your competition is doing and improve your offering.)


3) Testing to see if your idea sells (What is your idea worth and can it sustain. How can you pre-sell your idea as if it’s already ready to market.)


Your call to action is to take your idea and further test market it to your prospective customer. Based on the research and feedback provided, you would be much better positioned to create something that has more value than where you started.

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Is Your Product/Service Viable? - Lean Startup Hong Kong

  1. 1. Is your product/service viable?Lean Startup Series #1 WTFImage source: grasshopperherder.com
  2. 2. Goal Desired ApproachImage source: paulkortman.com
  3. 3. Where you want to be High ValueVery Useful Not Useful Low ValueImage source: pearanalytics.com
  4. 4. Image source: brainzooming.com  Idea generation Coming up with your own ideas
  5. 5. Idea generation Write down all of your ideas, no matter how ridiculous Clever ideas are not the only ones that work, boring ideas are just as good Should match what you are willing to do over what you can do Image source: webmastersuccess.com
  6. 6. Stealing ideas  Large % of successful businesses have taken idea and improved upon it  Don’t worry about people stealing your idea  Most people are all talkImage source: admavericks.com
  7. 7. Is this you?  "I dont know what to do"  "I dont have any ideas"  "I have no skills"  "I want to quit my job, but I dont have enough experience to do what I love"  "Why would anyone pay for my service?”Image source: memegenerator.net
  8. 8. Skills into service What are you good at? What motivates you?  Review current skills set, passions Define how much money you need to make  Rule of thumb: 2x’s salary Low risk  Start part-time/freelance Common issue that bugs you?  You have a solution? Image source: salesprogress.com
  9. 9. Exercise: Benefit Conversion ToolIs your idea good enough for target client? (trustedauthority.com)
  10. 10. No one care what you do  Where businesses fail  Don’t connect with prospect  No differentiation in competitive market I’m a financial planner I’m a life coach I sell digital solutionsImage source: memegenerator.net
  11. 11. What do people care about Only focused on own problems Always looking for WII-FM Don’t give a crap about what you can do: How can you help me? Testimonials: feel better that you’ve done it before Image source: johnchow.com
  12. 12. Bottom line People buy benefits, not features Highlight what they get Focus what is delivered, not what you do What it the outcome/output from doing business with you Image source: healthsourcelaunchu.com
  13. 13. What are your benefits  What I/we do is…  Your answer  What this means is…  Your answer  What this really means is…  Your answerImage source: wordsofgrace.wordpress.com
  14. 14. My example“I’m a digital marketer”VS.“I help companies create marketing strategies onlineand for mobile devices that reach their target customerand increase sales leads.”
  15. 15. Image source: schoolimprovement.com  Does your idea sell? Find out answers to these core questions
  16. 16.  Strength What is the demand?Image source: mom.gov.sg
  17. 17.  Market Size Is it a growing market?Image source: market-kap.blogspot.com
  18. 18.  Same Same How are you really different?Image source: markramseymedia.com
  19. 19.  Effective Marketing Have ways to market to target market?Image source: businesstm.com
  20. 20.  Price variances Are you in line with your competitors?Image source: insureye.com
  21. 21.  Cash infusion How much cash do you need to start up/sustain?Image source: zippycart.com
  22. 22. Image source: procto.biz  Test your idea Don’t start just yet….
  23. 23. To the streets! Don’t invest anything just yet…..see what people think Talk to people who you anticipate will buy service/product  Don’t hard sell your service yet – your goal is to get information, not to sell.  Most people are happy to discuss their wants, needs, and thoughts with you. Ask:  Is this something they are willing to pay for?  Have they bought something like this before? Look at similar businesses, see how they position themselves. Are they doing well?
  24. 24. Other ideas  Forums/Discussion Boards  Social Media  Surveys/ReviewsImage source: writesofluid.com
  25. 25. Example: Test before building  Landing pages of product information marketers  Build marketing copy  Promote SEM/SEO/Social Media  Gauge excitement/interest  Lead generation activities to market new ideas  Build Product! file:///Users/artglee/Desktop/LeanStartup/A%20Compelling%20Headline%20Is %20Crucial%20for%20a%20Sales%20Page.htmlImage source: milehighautomation.com
  26. 26. Image source: dadislearning.com  Set Goals Get busy doing or get busy losin
  27. 27. What are your targets Set quantifiable goals (i.e. make $X in X time) Full-time job? set low-level, small, daily goals taking <1 hour). Consistency is more important than big leaps Talk to 3 people and get their feedback on whether your idea works
  28. 28. Good Luck!Come talk to me if you have any questions.
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