Due to the pandemic, many businesses are reevaluating their business plans, including pivoting their entire business model. If you find yourself in a similar situation with your company, you need to think outside the box, viewing clients, family, and friend’s common complaints as opportunities. If you find a new product or service you can offer, here are a few steps to ensure it is viable for your business.

Interview and Research

This is a crucial step in determining if your new product or service has potential or not. Many entrepreneurs quickly fall in love with an idea, investing valuable time and money into it, only to see it lacks demand. By interviewing people in your target market, you can fine-tune not only the idea itself but also how you pitch it. If it’s a specific product, having a prototype that customers can tinker with or use is crucial to the design phase as well.

The data you generate needs to be authentic for the idea to be successful. Think about where and how you gain your information. If your new demographic is similar to your current one, utilizing your social media channels with straw polls will help you gain critical data. Creating a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice questions ensures you’ll gain valuable insights into your target marketing needs.

Test the Concept

It’s essential to test the concept with a small online store, depending on your industry and market. Even if interviewing potential customers and research leads you to believe it’s a billion-dollar idea, it never guarantees sales. A small store will allow you to test the actual demand for the product or service before spending any more capital on it. Also, consider it part of your research phase — you may find specific regions or new demographics that need your product or service. Also, think about the canceled events your market was looking forward to, like conventions, which are becoming at-home streaming events. By partnering with one of these, you can effectively test your business plan on an eCommerce scale.

If you find yourself struggling through these phases, reach out to your local entrepreneurial community. The best entrepreneurs have gone through these steps, fine-tuning their offers more than they like to admit. If you’re an AFEUSA member, reach out to your nationwide community through your membership portal.

by: Charles Jackson,
AFEUSA President

Charles Jackson President AFEUSA