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Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. This new book will help you learn more about yourself, get key insights on what makes you tick, and gain practical next steps you can take today. This isn’t your grandma’s fluffy self-help. We provide only free android apps, if you find any paid apps on our site then please let us know by using contact us form. Welcome toA Gleaming Outlook (GO) Education Consultancy Ltd, a full service education consulting group. Probably you are familiar with all these abbreviations, especially if you are a student or going to be a student soon. The concept of study abroad or study away in practice is any experience that allows students to experience life from a different point of view.
Have you thought of how current social behavior and technology trend may support (or impede) your business model?
If you have strong business sense, you know that successful product is all about marketing.
Startup idea is simply a hypothesis about a potential product and market fit that may exist. As Eric mentioned in his book, the efforts that you are putting here is to prove your leap-of-faith assumptions before spending significant time and money on product development. What I will be sharing below is some of the techniques that I have used with my clients to test their business idea before we hire software developers to build it (for digital business), or hire more staffs to scale up the operations (for brick-and-mortar business).
For the purpose of illustration, I will use virtual office as an example so that you can relate the concept that we will be discussing.
Objective and key learning points: To learn if there are customers who like your product concept on the face value. A landing page is a mock website (usually with single page) that contains the a brief and concise message focusing on the value that your product offers, and provide a form for people to voluntarily enter their email address. Remember earlier we said startup idea is simply a hypothesis about your product and market fit. Don’t just put any sales or promotional messages alone without mentioning the key benefits of your product. If you don’t have the creative and technical skills to create landing page, try to use services like Unbounce, LaunchRock, KickoffLabs, etc. Objective and key learning points: To find out in a more subtle and trusting manner what are the pain points of our customers and what do they do. If you had gone through Step 1 above and run it for several weeks, you should now have a handful of email addresses of your potential customers. With a list of email addresses of your potential customers that are ready to listen to you (but that does not necessarily mean they want to talk to you), the next step is to test your business idea in a more granular level, and find out what or where are their pain points. Try sharing contents that are focusing on a single point in order to get more meaningful insights. Objective and key learning points: To learn whether your solution solves their problems, and explore alternative design with them. Once you had done several rounds of Step 2 – sharing variety of thoughtful advice and perspectives that address the the pain of your customers based on the core value proposition of your product. Once you make it to this step, you had successfully built a good foundation of trust with your potential customers. You can also develop interactive wireframe or prototype, probably a few of them that represent different processes in your product.
Provide open text field for comments or request for help on individual page of your prototype.
No matter what approach you choose, the key to remember here is you should not ask any commitment from your customers at this stage.
To sum up, testing your business idea before diving into product development is critical for your business.
Besides quality education and once-in-a-lifetime learning experience, traveling abroad exposes people to cultural differences.
You have a basic business model, but do you know there are probably technology out there that can make your business model more attractive.

Using the online photo album example mentioned in previous point, given that the social behavior nowadays that most people are using their smartphones to take photo, and a lot of people enjoy browsing through friends photo when they are waiting or commuting, wouldn’t be better if you build your online photo album as a mobile app. Your primary job at the early stages of development is to learn about your potential customers as quickly and as cheaply as possible. I won’t be talking about traditional market research techniques like interview and focus group meeting, which you can find abundant of information on the web. Otherwise, if you don’t get much response, you can scrap the idea or consider tweaking the original idea and repeat Step 1 again.
You are probably thinking of sending them an electronic survey using SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo now.
The idea here is share a series of insightful contents that touches on the pain of your customers. The article that we share could be simple tips using what is available, and need not to be relevant to our envisioned solution. The response that you get from the click through reports should give you a good idea of your customer persona and characteristics. They are more willing to talk to you, given that you communicate with them in a personal and relevant manner. Make sure that your email subject and introduction touch on points that matter to them based on their persona.
This should be designed carefully based on their persona to focus on questions that are relevant to them.
Show your potential customers how your product works, what are the processes or user experience that they will expect. Send the prototype to your potential customers based on their persona, track their interactions using web analytics such as Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, Spring Metrics, etc. He helps business owners and executives to innovate their business model thru strategic technology management so that they get 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost. We pledge to provide ethical consulting and assure the highest level of customer service to our clients. Students who go abroad become more "respectful of other cultures, political and economic systems". But more often, when they see me with new ideas, they will ask, “Thomas, I think I have a great idea. These are the questions that you might want to ask yourself when you are planning your new product and business model innovation. The more valid question is, have you pruned the scope relentlessly to come out with the minimum viable scope? For example, if you are starting an online photo album where people can save and share their photos.
This will probably increase the usage of your product due to more natural customer experience.
The techniques that I share below are how we can leverage on today’s technologies to get feedback on our business idea faster and learn more from our potential customers. But it is just nice (with respect to our time and money investment) to qualify our potential customers at this stage of development. Using our virtual office example, the message could be, “Premium office space, without paying a premium! Keep the page simple and clean and have a place for people to sign up if they are interested. That way you will learn what aspects matter most to your customers from the message that strikes them.
Yes, I know you might be disappointed or frustrated, but at least you learn it now than spending several months building a product just to find out nobody wants it.
To my experience, these tools are great once you had built a deeper relationship with your prospects, where they had gained greater trust from you to ask for more information. Whereas the latter article will give you customers who are looking for a more cost effective printing solution. Estimate the time required to complete the survey, and be upfront about it in your communication.

Analyzing their interactions will allow us to understand what features really matter, discover hidden flaw in our design and find ways to improve it. Consider adding additional options or check boxes in the prototype that can understand more about the customer behaviors and needs. Internet had provided us a platform to reach out to more people and companies who are in our target market.
If you have innovative ideas but do not the technical expertise, he is your partner to validate and build your digital business models. With the explosion of cloud computing, SaaS, free and open source software, you can purchase these tools or download them for free, and then integrate or customize them to suit your needs. Have you thought of perhaps building the website on social media platform will boost your customers’ interaction.
They are also useful when you want to test your business idea but you don’t have access to the contacts whom are your potential customers. As we proceed with the subsequent steps, we will dig deeper into their needs and perspectives. The sharing of thoughtful contents is to create sufficient dialogue with our customers to understand their needs, priority, and environment in order to validate our value proposition and discover a compelling business case for our product.
Depends on your objective, you need to carefully frame the subject and title to avoid getting ambiguous results. Based on my experience, 2 minutes is ideal, it is ok if slightly longer, but it should not take longer than 5 minutes. Try to respect their time, keep it short and simple, and make it easy for them to response. By selecting the right tools and use them in the right way, we can engage in a conversation with our potential customers to learn about your product and market fit before developing it. Thomas believes that constant business innovation is increasingly important in today's business environment so that our business is prepare for rapid change of customer behavior, rising cost, and globalization in order to stay ahead (or away) of competition.
Especially those with the technical skills (like me), we tend to take our capabilities for granted, where it is always seems counterintuitive why we shouldn’t just do it. Not only that but you should also ask what is the least you can do to justify there is a need for your product before you develop anything.
This is assuming that off-the-shelve tools are usually cheaper compare to cost of custom development. To make your buck worthwhile, try using targeted advertising that goes to your target market. Not many people are willing to spend their time and effort completing a lengthy survey without knowing you can actually help. The key success criteria here is that the content must be casual (like group discussion), written in the tone of giving advice and sharing perspectives.
If the bounce rate is very high, meaning that the email address that you collected in Step 1 are not valid, and you might consider to redo the step again. The customer persona that you built is an important knowledge to make your communication more personal and relevant for increasing your chances of getting meaningful feedbacks.
I know you might have lots of things to get feedbacks from your potential customers, and you are tempted to get all the answers in one go. To simplify the survey, you will need to know more about them so that your survey only ask what is relevant to them. Just like well-known email marketing strategy, careful crafting of the article title (which will also be your email subject later) is important here. Otherwise, if you have a very low click through rate, chances are the contents that you are sharing are not consistent with the message of your landing page. Instead of overwhelming them and lose your chance talking to them, try to spread out your communications, and focusing on one topic at a time. The response that you get from your potential customers who click on the link of your article will be a good indicator of their needs and pain.

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