Start Something Entrepreneurs Toolkit Series | I Have an Idea, Now What?

Great! You’ve got an idea. It’s time to move on to customer discovery, idea validation, and market research. Don’t worry. We’ve got the tools to help you get started.

We collected a few cliff notes from our “I Have an Idea, Now What?” session just in case you couldn’t make it, but we’ve linked the recording below for your viewing pleasure as well.

  1. Before taking your product or service to market, you’ve got to complete customer discovery to validate your idea and narrow down your target market. You may discover that your original idea, as is, doesn’t fit the need of your customers and you may need to pivot.  
  2. To complete “desktop discovery”, you can do internet searches, social media posts, polls, and blogs to compile customer feedback.  
  3. Customer discovery is important to uncover how you know people will buy your product, who will buy it, and how much they will pay for it.  
  4. When completing customer discovery interviews, use easy-to-understand terminology. Pretend you’re explaining your idea to a fifth grader.  
  5. Don’t pitch/sell your product or service or take control of the conversation, instead give basic information and use active listening skills to listen to feedback.  
  6. Customer discovery answers will reveal insights into customers:  
    1. Perspectives
    2. Pain points 
    3. Purchasing habits  
  7. There are three different customers to keep in mind when completing customer discovery:
    1. Purchasers (who make the decision or write the check) 
    2. Influencers (who influence the purchasing decisions) 
    3. End users (who will directly interact with your product or service) 
  8. Customer discovery leads into idea validation by helping to determine if your business understands the market need and is fulfilling it.