Start-ups Article 4: Validating Your Business Idea
Now that you have a business plan, you will need to validate your business idea with real life customers. The Customer Development Model, created by Steve Blank*, can help you do this.
The model consists of four steps — customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation, and company building. Because each step is recursive, you may remain in each for any duration of time, refining and repeating the processes involved.
- Customer Discovery: Target potential customers and determine if the problem your product solves is important to potential buyers.
- Customer Validation: Develop a sales process that successfully sells your product.
- Customer Creation: Build on the sales accrued during customer validation and begin to put money into marketing your product.
- Company Building: Transition the company from an informal development team into a formal entity
*For additional information on the Customer Development Model, consider reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank.