Many entrepreneurs have ideas for new businesses every single day. Visionary types can never seem to stop thinking about ingenious solutions, inventions, and new products or services for their existing businesses.
Perhaps that sounds familiar, and idea generation is one of your strengths. But it can also be a weakness; barreling into every option will leave you falling for shiny object syndrome and achieving nothing. Your time on earth is finite, and making a mark in a big way involves making the right decision about what you will pursue. So how do you know?
Train ChatGPT to sense-check each idea, so you can sort those incredible must-do ideas from the ones that should be left well alone. Use these 5 prompts to help you do that.
Use ChatGPT to validate your business idea
Figure out your unfair advantage
If you’re going to start a new business, there should be a clear reason why. Why are you specifically best placed to begin this particular venture? Ideally you hit upon a concept that is multiplied by your unique intersection of skills, networks and interests. Once you get that, no one can compete with you. If there isn’t a clear reason for you to start a business, maybe it’s not the idea for you.
Ask ChatGPT for an assessment of synergy with this prompt. Copy and paste straight in and complete the gaps: “I’m thinking of starting a business that [describe what this business does] and I want to understand my unique strengths in making it a success. I have experience in [describe your experience] and expertise in [describe your expertise]. I have access to people who [describe your network]. Can you give me the reasons why this will and won’t be a success based on my specific situation?”
Understand your perfect customer
Trying to sell to everyone won’t get you anywhere good. Selling to one very specific person, however, resonating with their world and turning them into a raving fan, will bring you more of the same. But first you need to define them, make sure your idea actually solves their problems, and find out what action they are already taking. Get crystal clear on your perfect customer to unlock validation of your idea and see a clear plan to reaching them. Now ChatGPT knows about your business, prompt it for customer insights.
Here’s the prompt: “Now you know what business I want to start, can you suggest who might be the one ideal customer for this business? Can you describe their demographics and explain what problems they might have, that my business might solve. Please rank these problems in order, starting with the most important thing to them. Next, tell me what products or services they are currently using to solve these problems.”
Assess demand for your idea
So you have your idea and a feeling you could make it a success. Your customer profile is nailed on and you feel confident that they have problems that your idea solves better than what already exists. Next you need to check that your ideal customer exists, and frame your idea in a way that resonates. Make sure there are compelling reasons why that person would want to buy that product. Make sure there’s enough demand in the entire market, make sure you’re not joining a declining industry after the big gains have already been made.
Here’s the prompt to further the conversation. “Can you give me 3 main reasons why someone would want to buy my product? Next, estimate how many people in [location, if applicable] could be in my target audience, and tell me the size of this market and its likely growth over the next five years. Please also include any adjacent markets I could explore.”
Everything so far has been theory, now is where you get some practice. Take these value propositions to your ideal customer and see if they like them. Hear their concerns, understand what excites them, and refine your offering from there. Use the intel to decide if this is a mountain you want to climb, and how profitable this route might be. Go beyond friends and family to find those who match your ideal customer profile and will give their honest opinion.
Prompt ChatGPT to set you on this path. “Create a survey for my potential audience. Start by giving a description of my business and who it’s for, to set the scene. For the first question, create three compelling value propositions that address how my business solves a problem for them, and ask which value proposition most resonates. Next, ask how likely they would be to buy, and then ask what this new concept would need to do to win their business. Finally, give me options on how I collect this feedback from my target audience.”
Make your testing plan
Survey responses will give you an idea of what people might want and how likely they would be to buy, but having something they can actually test out is the next step to validating your business idea. Ideally, you do this without incurring huge cost or hassle. Get ChatGPT’s opinion on what this could be, based on what it knows so far.
“How do I create a minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype, to test my business idea with real users and gather their insights? Include information such as how much this might cost and the steps to take to make it happen. Include what metrics I should look out for to know if my idea is worth pursuing.”
Validate your business idea with ChatGPT prompts
If, by the end of this process, you have an interested collection of potential customers with clear problems that your business can solve, feeling confident you’re entering a growing market with the skills to match, you might be onto a winner. Continue validating your idea by creating a compelling landing page (which ChatGPT can help with) and seeing who sticks. Keep being hungry for the truth: do people want what you’re selling? Avoid confirmation bias, avoid spending too long with pessimists or yes-men. Gather more information from your potential customers to validate thoroughly before you get too far in.
Figure out your unique advantage, understand your perfect customer and assess the demand for your idea, then collect feedback and make your plan for further testing. Repeat for every great idea until you find the one that will change the world.
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