Dialogue Marketing Group
Will the basic concept fly?

Before you spend time, energy and money getting your business off the ground, it’s almost always a good idea to confirm that your target audience thinks it’s a good idea. These are the folks who will be asked to spend real money to buy what you’re selling, and there’s nothing more frustrating than working really hard to sell something nobody wants.

Learning what you need to know

There are a number of ways to learn this, and they all involve talking with prospective customers, asking them some probing questions, and listening carefully to their responses.

This is not quite as simple as it sounds. For starters, you are probably not the right person to ask the questions. People will usually tell someone with a vested interest what they think that person wants to hear. (We call that “accommodating” the interviewer.)

You’ll also want to consider whether you have access to a representative group of prospective customers, or your results could be biased in a way that will mislead you when you try to analyze them. You also need to consider exactly what it is you’re trying to learn and what the action standard is. You will want to present your concept in a way that clearly lays out the unique selling proposition so the respondent “gets” the big idea before he or she is asked to indicate interest (or lack thereof). Depending on the specifics of your business concept and your target audience, you might want face-to-face interviews, a telephone survey or online research – and it can be either qualitative or quantitative.

We’ve done this for dozens of new businesses (and with thousands of prospective customers) and understand the pros and cons of each approach, which work best with different kinds of businesses, and how to learn what you need to know at the lowest possible cost.

A smart investment

The investment in this initial research – think of it as a preliminary feasibility study – is probably the smartest investment you’ll make. If results indicate the concept is risky, you’ll save a lot of time and energy that would have been for naught. If results indicate you have a winner, you will have a great starting point for developing your marketing and business plans … and perhaps even gaining the interest of prospective investors.

Let us help you with the critical first steps for your new business. We’ve been around this track several times before, and we know the pitfalls and short-cuts. Just let us know when and how you want to proceed and we’ll schedule time to discuss our recommended approach with you.
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Dialogue Marketing Group