Published on forbes.com | Sep 22, 2023

A question that often haunts entrepreneurs is whether their “great idea” resonates with the actual needs and wants of the market. It’s crucial to decipher a reliable method for ensuring that your brainchild is more than just a personal passion but a genuine solution that the public needs.

Below, 20 Forbes Business Council members explore strategic approaches that empower entrepreneurs to accurately gauge the pulse of their target audience and determine the viability of their innovations. These insights could propel a visionary idea into a thriving business venture.

1. See If Customers Are Sharing With Loved Ones

An entrepreneur can gauge the potential success of their idea when they witness customers’ enthusiasm spreading beyond their own needs as people start wanting the product for their loved ones. It’s a clear sign that your innovation resonates with the market on a deeper level. – Kathrin HammBearaby

2. Be Open To Adapting

Market research is one way an entrepreneur can determine if their idea is truly something the market needs. However, no amount of market market research can guarantee success. Being open to adapting and pivoting based on what you learn during the research process is even more important than the research itself. – Tiffany CallenderFederation of African Canadian Economics (FACE)

3. Prioritize Criticism

Using loss aversion and confirmation bias, entrepreneurs should prioritize feedback and criticism over praise. While negative feedback carries more weight in our brains, it might be more genuine. Actively seeking varying opinions counters inherent biases and assures a comprehensive market perspective. – Lumine LinHighmoon Capital LLC

4. Develop A Strategy With Research

Research, research, research. Market Research, that is. When developing your market strategy, a deep understanding of your target market and its trends is necessary. Consider market research an ongoing endeavor, as you should always be gaining insights into your business landscape, your clients and their ever-evolving needs. – Scott SyphaxSyphax Strategic Solutions

5. Conduct Market Testing

To determine if an idea meets market needs, entrepreneurs should conduct market testing. This is crucially important and involves presenting the concept to potential users and gathering feedback through minimum viable product tests, surveys and so on. This step is vital to understanding product-market fit. – Andriy SambirLinkup Studio

6. Perform A Market Analysis

The best way to find out what the market wants and needs is to speak directly with it. Select at least 100 individuals from your target audience and conduct a market analysis. Ask them about the problems they have, as well as their desires, dreams and goals. Then present your idea as a solution. If at least 10% would buy your idea immediately, you have a viable business model with a solid market. – Leonard Martin SchmeddingEverlast Media GmbH

7. Develop A Minimum Viable Product

It’s not enough to believe in an idea’s brilliance; you have to ground it in real-world validation. Before diving into any venture, I develop a minimum viable product. This allows me to present a basic version of my concept to a select audience and receive real feedback without overextending resources. This iterative stance minimizes risk and ensures that my offer truly resonates with market needs. – Seyed MadaeniVerse

8. Determine Your Target Audience

Determine who is the target audience or market and find ways to get your idea in front of them. Does it hit the mark? Listen to the feedback regarding the true need and adjust. – Michele DobnikarGlobalMeet

9. Have Empathetic Dialogues

To discern if your idea aligns with desires, initiate empathetic dialogues to grasp customers’ core needs and pains, going beyond market research. Immerse yourself in the process by becoming a compassionate observer, connecting deeply to reveal unspoken desires driving them. This empathic understanding, more than data, will guide and refine your idea into something that resonates with their real-world wants and needs. – Satyen RajaWarriorSage Trainings Inc.

10. Conduct Market Research

One way an entrepreneur can determine if their idea is something the market needs and wants is by conducting market research. Survey potential customers, create a minimum viable product and analyze the financial viability of the idea. Launch a Kickstarter campaign and test marketing campaigns before diving in. – Sarah MawjiFinal Edit Media & Public Relations

11. Understand Customer Problems

Spend time with multiple segments of potential customers with one goal in mind: to deeply understand their problems and how they are addressing those problems today. Your goal should be to understand the problem you’re trying to solve as deeply as your target customers do. Only if your customers express a deep, unsolved pain should you invest time and effort into mapping your solution in detail. – Mihir PershadUmami Bioworks

12. Find Out What Gap You Are Filling

One way entrepreneurs can assess the value of their idea is to evaluate whether it aligns with market demand by addressing a problem or filling a gap. Ask yourself if your business provides a unique solution to a defined problem or occupies a specific niche that is currently underserved. – DeLisa GuerrierGuerrier Development

13. Develop A Structured Plan

As a starting point, I would advise entrepreneurs to spend time planning and engaging in market research to determine if their idea aligns with the market and meets a real need or want. A well-structured plan rooted in comprehensive market analysis is a necessary step that increases the chances of success. – Anita LallianArizona Land Consulting, LLC.

14. Create And Test A Prototype

Drawing from my experience with various ventures, an entrepreneur can validate a great idea by prototyping and seeking direct feedback. Testing a concept and gathering real-time reactions is key to understanding the market’s true demand. – Connor TreacyConnor Treacy LLC

15. Gather Data

Launch and gather data. You can’t truly know if you’re creating something people want without getting your product in front of people and analyzing how they interact with the product. You should work to get an MVP out of the door as fast as possible, promote it widely on organic channels and track retention. If your product is good and you’re targeting the right people, they’ll stick around. – Jaspar Carmichael-JackArtisan AI

16. Talk To Potential Customers

Determine who your customer is and talk to as many potential customers as you can. Ask them what they are missing, what they think about your product and if this is what they need. – Ruslan ShamanovKavkaz Express LLC

17. Track Success Of Similar Products

Check if that product or service is already being sold successfully. If yes, in what way does your offering fix or extend the value of the currently available version of your service or product? If not, then the possibility is high that your offering is not needed. – Tareq JomaasalesHAX Consulting GmbH

18. Conduct A Full Assessment Of The Situation

Conducting comprehensive market research, including surveys, focus groups and competitor analysis can help entrepreneurs gauge consumer demand, assess market trends and validate the viability of their idea. This will ensure alignment with actual market needs and preferences. – Jacqueline MohairTIUA School of Business

19. Coordinate Plenty Of Testing

Entrepreneurs are always coming up with new ideas. The trick is to figure out if that idea is truly something the market needs, wants and is willing to pay for. We are in a time now with so many resources to test out these ideas across large audiences very quickly. Before committing and putting too much energy and resources into an idea, we need to test, test and test again. – Tim O’BrienUrban Asset Advisors

20. Determine The Feasibility Of The Product

At the core of the great idea is the problem you are trying to solve. The definition of the problem and its importance to the target market will determine the product’s success. The product feasibility will further assist in determining commercial opportunities. The identification of variables impacting success enables effective control and management of variables towards success. – Charu Pele-InnoSec