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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Moving from Idea to Market: How to Test your Big Idea

By Adepeju Jaiyeoba

In 2013 when Mothers Delivery Kit started production with 200 prototype packs, I remember our process of moving from idea to market, making changes to meet market demands and failing forward. Mothers' Delivery Kit went through at least three modifications before we arrived at the generally acceptable pack we have now. 

Yesterday, as I tried to introduce a new product in addition to Mothers Delivery kit, I watched one of our customers place an order for hundreds of the product in advance and I realized the process of moving from ideas to market hasn't really changed. 

Let's talk about this today. So you have a big idea, whether product or service, and you are ready to test, how do you move from idea to the market? Here are a few tips from my personal experience.
  1. Don't just sell, get feedback - Because the best products are the ones who listen to the market and are quick to learn from mistakes, you need to have an open communication system. Your focus shouldn't just be about selling, you must run after getting feedback especially from your first users.
  2. NO doesn't Kill! - Tell people about your product and services, distribute samples, ask for a purchase, the worst you can get is a NO and it doesn't kill! I remember calling hospitals, pharmacies, and walking through communities talking about the kits. I remember visiting village heads, midwives and traditional birth attendants to earn their trust and purchase. Some bought and are our customers till date. I would never have sold to them if I didn't ask.
  3. Sharpen your interpersonal relationship skills - When trying to move your idea to the market, you will need to sharpen your relationship skills. Sometimes people buy your product and remain loyal customers simply because you are a nice, cool, happy go lucky person who they see as a friend. Personally, beyond selling, I like to have personal relationship with my customers. We talk family, politics, personal development and all.
  4. Make good use of social media - Beyond liking, commenting and changing profile pictures, use social media for your business. The first 5,000 kits we sold in 2014 was sold via social media. We didn't have a high budget for advertising so we leverage fully on social media platforms especially Facebook, Twitter and BBM.
  5. Identify your target - Narrow down your target market and map out the best way to get to them. Think up personal contact you have within the target market space and ask them for help. You will be surprised how far they will go to help you with leads.
Please take that step and move your ideas to the market today. Let's grow together.
About the Author
Adepeju Opeyemi Jaiyeoba (OD’s June YPOM ) is a Nigerian trained lawyer and founder of Brown Button Foundation, an NGO established to help curb the high mortality rates in Nigeria. She is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur 2015 and a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow inspiring many young people to achieve their dreams.

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