Bringing a product to market can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining.

Before investing thousands of dollars into inventory, it’s important to do a market check to make sure people will actually buy your product.

After spending 5+ years living and breathing Kickstarter product launches, and raising millions of dollars in pre-order capital, I’ve seen the dark side of product development.

Through Kickstarter launches, I’ve perfected the art of selling products before they exist…

And from it, I’ve learned a few tricks to validate product ideas quickly, with minimal effort, and with usually less than $2K spent.

The old way of launching products was you’d get an idea, order 1000 units of it, open your store and wait to sell it…

Only to realize after all that effort that you either… 1. Have a product no one will buy; or 2. You actually don’t know to market your product.

The new way of launching products is about validating your idea first, testing the market, then investing in inventory once you know you’ve got something that works.

This is especially important if your product has never been done before, is a proprietary product, or a custom design.

These reasons are why today I’m bringing you my 12 Ways to Validate Your Product Before Going to Market

  1. Do a pre-sale so customers can buy in advanced
  2. Take a deposit to reserve their order for your first inventory run
  3. Do a soft launch
  4. Host a focus group and ask who would buy the product
  5. Build a waitlist for a product
  6. Ask your existing customer base to ‘vote’ on the next product you’re launching (if you’re deciding between a handful of different products)
  7. Upsell the product you’re thinking of launching to existing orders to see what the uptake is
  8. Set up a storefront and actually take orders with a few hundred dollars – when you get an order, email the customer back immediately saying you’re “out of stock” and offer a refund or see if they want to wait for the product at a 50% discount
  9. Post your idea in a Facebook group and ask people if it’s a product they’d be interested in 
  10. Email your customers with an “I’m thinking of launching this….” and ask them to reply with feedback
  11. Make sure it’s possible to make your product
  12. Get an approx quote for COGS, do a rough 3-4x markup, then do a competitive analysis to make sure you aren’t ridiculously out of the market’s acceptable price range

Have a question about how to do any of the above? Let me know in the comments.

To your success,

-Khierstyn, LaunchandScale.co

Shopify -or- Kickstarter? That is the question!

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