Validate Your Idea

Pursue your idea with confidence

Growth Planning walks you through a process for testing and improving your ideas. So you can launch a business knowing there’s demand for it.

Start Growth Planning

Or get started with our free idea validation toolkit

Man working with table saw

You have a great idea,
but you’re not sure how it will work...

What is your best target market?

Growth planning helps you discover who is most likely to be excited by your product or service

What is the demand for your business?

Growth planning helps you figure out if you’ll have enough customers to sustain your business

Will your idea generate a profit?

Growth planning helps you get an idea of what your expenses and revenue would look like

Growth planning helps you validate your idea — before you waste time & money on it

Man thinking with overlayed LivePlan graphics

Step One: Plan

Outline your idea

Write a one-page plan: 30 minutes

Before you can figure out if your idea is any good, you need to get it down on paper. Start by creating a one-page plan that outlines your best-guesses about your idea. Think about things like:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your real competition?
  • How will your business model work?
  • How much should you charge?

Why this step is important:

The process of answering these questions helps you picture how your business will actually work.

What you’ll need

LivePlan Logo

LivePlan: Save time using the LivePlan Pitch and quickly list your assumptions using a simple, guided Q&A format.

or

Document Icon

Idea validation toolkit: Our toolkit contains a free template where you can list your assumptions.

Step Two: Forecast

Collect feedback

Customer interviews: 2+ hours

The most important step is getting out and talking to potential customers about your assumptions. Record every conversation and cover all the questions in step one.

Interviewing people can feel intimidating. Try supplementing your research with:

  • Industry benchmark data
  • Running online ads
  • Examining your competition

Why this step is important:

A Fortune survey found that 42% of startup failures were due to a “lack of a market need for their product.” Customer research is essential.

Man working on laptop with overlayed LivePlan graphics

What you’ll need

LivePlan Logo

LivePlan: Supplement your research with industry benchmark data in LivePlan.

or

Document Icon

Idea validation toolkit: Our toolkit contains a free template to keep your research organized.

Man examining work with overlayed LivePlan graphics

Step Three: Review

Examine your feedback

Analyze your research: 1-2 hours

The hard part is over! Next, review the feedback you collected about your idea and answer questions like:

  • Does your feedback mesh with your assumptions?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • What (if any) new questions do you have about your idea?

Why this step is important:

You’ll start to spot patterns in your feedback that hint at whether or not there’s demand for your business.

What you’ll need

LivePlan Logo

LivePlan: Adjust your assumptions in the LivePlan Pitch

or

Document Icon

Idea validation toolkit: Adjust your assumptions in your idea validation toolkit

Step Four: Refine

Improve your idea

Make adjustments: 2-4 hours

Update your one-page plan based on what you’ve learned. If your assumptions are correct, you’re ready to move forward. In most cases, you’ll likely need to tweak your idea before launching.

For example, you might need to update:

  • Your target audience
  • Your business model
  • How you’ll sell your products or service

At this stage you should also consider building an initial forecast and an expense budget as well.

Why this step is important:

You’ll know if your idea has potential or not. If it doesn’t seem like a winner today, iterate based on what you’ve learned and try the growth planning process again.

Man working on laptop with overlayed LivePlan graphics

What you’ll need

LivePlan Logo

LivePlan: Refer back to your assumptions in the LivePlan Pitch to see if they were correct or if they need to be adjusted.

or

Document Icon

Idea validation toolkit: Refer back to your assumptions in the idea validation toolkit see if they were correct or if they need to be adjusted.

Validate your idea with growth planning

Start Growth Planning

Or get started with our free idea validation toolkit