Do Your Research
Once you’re familiar with the startup landscape, it’s time to start researching your business.
The resources here will take you from generating and validating your business idea through to the market research and what it takes to win.
Brainstorm Potential Business Ideas
Know you want to start something but not sure what? Find your inspiration with these thought starters
Validate Your Idea
Already have an idea? Before you launch anything, validate your idea to make sure that you can build a viable business from it.
Answer the questions on this flowchart (created by Molly Adair ’14) to help validate your idea.
- How to Know if You Should Continue Your Side Project or Let it Go
- Validate Your Business Idea — Quickly — With These 5 Steps
- 20 Questions You Can Ask to Validate Your Startup Idea
- 9 Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Validated Their Business Idea
- How to Validate Your Startup Idea
- 3 Rules for Testing a Big Business Idea
Ask a Crowd
The VFA Innovation Fund lets Fellows uses crowdfunding validate their ideas. Read on to see how you can use crowdfunding for your business too.
Conduct Competitive Analysis & Market Research
Understand your industry, market and competitors with targeted research and then use that knowledge to make your business stronger.
- Start Surveying Your Market
- Conducting Market Research
- The Best Ways to do Market Research for Your Business Plan
- How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis
- Template: Competitive Analysis
Identify Your Target Customer
Without customers, you can’t have a business. Find and identify your target customer.
- How to Discover Your Perfect Target Customer in Five Steps
- How to Define Your Target Market
- Listen: Olga Vidisheva, Founder & CEO of Shoptiques on Surveying 2,000 Boutique Owners
- Listen: Nadia Bourjawah, Cofounder of Diaco, on Understanding Your Customer Base
Build Your Minimum Viable Product
Don’t want to invest the time and money without knowing for sure what your customer wants? Consider launching with a minimum viable product instead.