How do you know your product idea is going to work? That’s the million dollar question (potentially more). Sure, you came up with an idea that solves a real problem for real people, but that is still all theory for now. How do you get people to believe in what you promise enough to put money down and invest their time to see results?
There are two steps to validating any product idea.
First, verify the pain of the problem. In other words, are people already paying to solve this problem elsewhere? It is not enough to identify people who are complaining about the problem, you need to identify paid products or services people are already buying to solve the problem you’re after. Second, you need to verify the profitability of your product. What does it cost you to deliver the product, in terms of time or money? Will people pay for your product? Will they pay enough?
For example, let’s say you want to create an online course on how to budget effectively with your spouse. First off, you need to validate the pain.
The internet is filled with spouses complaining about their respective spouse’s spending habits, but that isn’t enough. Where are people paying to solve this problem already? What products are they using? You might find that many families are happy to pay $5 per month for budgeting software like YNAB (You Need A Budget), or pay $129.99 for a kit to go through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Rather than be discouraged that someone has already solved the problem you’re after, you should be encouraged because this means the problem matters enough to your audience to solve it. Just because you see a problem, does not mean that the people in your target audience know the problem exists. They may be completely unaware or are not ready to address the problem yet.
Next, you need to test the profitability of your product. How many sales do you have to make for the product to be worth your while? If people are paying $100 or less for similar products, keep your production budget minimal. Record a few short videos with your phone’s camera and upload them to Teachable without any edits, so your time invested is minimal (1 to 2 hours) and your financial investment is none.
Do you see how this could work for any new product you’re thinking about making? Where are people already paying to solve the problem your product will address?