So you have completed your business model canvas. What is next? Well if you are a scientist, you know the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, test your hypothesis, improve upon your ideas and repeat.
So what assumptions did you make? Odds are, just about all of your Customer Segment section is complete guess work. And that is perfectly normal. It is time for you to, as they say in the startup world, “Get Out of the Office”. You need to go talk to potential customers. But don’t leave just yet! There is some other important steps you must take first.
In order to test your hypotheses you must first write them down. This can be tricky. Hypotheses:
1) Must be reversible without being ridiculous
If your hypothesis was “Parents want their children to be good at math”, then this would be a bad hypothesis because when inverted, “Parents want their children to be bad at math” makes no sense. This is clearly not something parents would want, and therefore, not something you should test. A better example of this reversibility phenomenon would be “Parents care more about their children’s math grades than English scores.” This can logically be changed to “Parents care more about their children’s English grades than math scores.”
2) Should only have one condition
The more complex and convoluted of hypotheses you create, the more difficult they are to test and interpret. For example, say you think that “College students have a hard time finding sports games, but an easy time finding parties.” This is the example of a bad hypothesis because if college students do in fact have a hard time finding sports to play, but also a hard time learning about parties this is incorrect. There are three scenarios in which this is false and only one where it is true. Instead it should be divided into two. “College students have a hard time find sports to play,” and “College students do not have a hard time finding parties.” This way both theory can be tested independently. Speaking of sports, sign up for the app now and follow us @VespyrTeam.
3) Should be specific
With a startup it is important to find your niche as quickly as possible. A startup is really a team looking for a customer segment and business. Therefore, more general is not beneficial. For example, from example 1, “Parents care more about their children’s math grades than English scores.” This is too general. Perhaps at a younger age parents care more about their kids performance in school but later in life they slack off. Or maybe high income households care more English than math. An example of a better hypothesis would be, “Young mothers care more about their children’s math knowledge than their English skills.” This is easily tested.
4) Should not expressly validate your business
In order to have good, useful hypotheses, they should be objective. An example of a poor hypothesis would be “College students want to buy my jeans because they are inexpensive.” Instead, it would be better to say “College students will buy inexpensive jeans.” Starting out no one cares about you or your product so consumers will not buy into your brand for brand loyalty.
5) Must be able to be tested
This is the most important point of all. If you cannot test your assumptions they are meaningless. Don’t be stupid, this one is pretty straight forward.
Now you are ready. Create your hypotheses you wish to test. Next time you will hear more specifically about the procedure to test them.