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Startups and the importance of Testing
by Startacus Admin
Last week we featured the‘One Planet Ventures’ Enterprise Incubator programme, a programme open to all entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs aged 18-30 living in London. And now in return (one good deed deserves another after all) the good folk at One Planet Ventures are sharing with us some thoughts on the importance of testing as a startup.
Over to Lauren Turner from the team to explain all...
“Buzzing with ideas? Can’t wait to make them into a reality?
Welcome to the wonderful world of startups!
Starting a business takes courage. There’s no time to doubt yourself, and no room for thinking that you’ll fail. Instead, you pour your heart and soul into a project, and bet everything on its success. And it can succeed. You just know it. Still, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, and regardless of how hard you work, there will be setbacks.
There are things that you will face in your entrepreneurial journey which will challenge your way of thinking, helping you to innovate and come up with creative solutions to problems. But this isn’t something to be scared of. Setbacks always happen when you’re doing something new, or different. The important thing is to not see these setbacks or “failures” of a certain concept or idea as a negative. Alternatively, think of it this way. The more that you test things out, the more you know and can understand where your customer base is, what is working well and what isn’t. This means that it’s a lot easier in the long run to refine what you are doing, giving you a better chance of succeeding in creating your vision.
Here at Hatch we’re big fans of testing concepts and ideas. We love learning from what we do, and believe that if you’re going to succeed, you’ve got to keep learning.
BUT HOW DOES TESTING HELP?
A business can either live or die at the hands of its customers. If you don’t test out your product or your model early on it can be hard to tell if what you’re creating and developing is heading in the right direction, or even if you are marketing it towards the right set of people. By actively pursuing customer feedback early on, you eliminate the risk of spending lots and lots of money on creating a product or service that nobody buys into. Yes, you might be in love with your business, but what will happen if no one else is?
SO? TEST, TEST AND TEST AGAIN…
Even when you’ve tested your idea and business proposition out in the beginning stages of creating your startup, that’s not the end. The idea is to keep testing, keep innovating and to keep making improvements. There is no reason why you can’t keep testing out any changes that you make to the business five years down the line. Who knows, you might be attracting different customer segments by then!
BESIDES, LEARNING IS IMPORTANT…
When you’re starting up, you don’t have the luxury to sit still. You have to become the best you can be; you have to become a unicorn (you can read more about the unicorn theory here). The more you can learn about the different aspects of your business, the better equipped you will become to explain the work that needs to happen to other people. You don’t necessarily need to know how to do every tiny thing, but the more that you know the easier it will be to keep everything in order. If you don’t know your business, how can you ever truly make your vision a reality?
Besides, just look at Richard Branson. He now has a net worth of around $4.8 Billion, but not every venture he has set up has turned to gold. In fact, he has created so many companies that people often see him as a pioneer for starting over and over, trying things out and never giving up. He himself has expressed the benefits of coming up against failure… ‘Learn from failure. If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture wasn’t a success, welcome to the club “!
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