How to test your ideas using surveys

How i test ideas with surveys

Testing ideas before investing significant time and resources is crucial for any innovator.

One of the most time efficient methods I’ve found is creating and distributing surveys. Especially early on.

Here is how I tested one of my ideas using a survey, from creation to analyzing the responses.

Step 1: Creating the survey

I used Google Forms to create a survey with around 15 questions. The questions were designed to cover various aspects of the idea, from basic interest to willingness to pay.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask to evaluate your idea:

1. Interest level: How interested are you in a product/service that [briefly describe the idea]?

  • Very interested
  • Somewhat interested
  • Neutral
  • Not very interested
  • Not interested at all

2. Problem identification: How often do you experience [the problem your idea solves]?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Rarely
  • Never

3. Current solutions: What solutions do you currently use to address [the problem]?

  • [List of common solutions]
  • Other (please specify)

4. Feature preferences: Which features would you find most valuable in a product/service that [describe key functions]?

  • Feature 1
  • Feature 2
  • Feature 3

5. Willingness to pay: How much would you be willing to pay for a product/service that solves [the problem]?

  • Less than $10
  • $10-$20
  • $20-$50
  • More than $50

6. Usage frequency: How often do you think you would use [the product/service]?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Occasionally
  • Never

7. Demographic information: (optional, but useful for understanding your target market)

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation

8. Ask for contact info: If they are willing to answer more questions or try your product.

  • Email or phone number

Step 2: Distributing the survey

Once the survey was ready, I posted it in relevant groups and pages on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s important to target communities where your potential users are active. For instance, if your idea is related to fitness, posting in fitness groups and forums would yield the best results.

Step 3: Analyzing the responses

Within a few days, I received over 50 good responses. This provided a solid sample size to analyze. Here’s what I looked for:

  • Interest levels: A high percentage of “very interested” and “somewhat interested” responses indicated strong initial interest.
  • Common problems: Identifying frequently mentioned problems helped validate that my idea was addressing a real need.
  • Current solution: How, if at all do they solve this problem today?
  • Preferred features: The features that were most valued by respondents guided the prioritization in the development process.
  • Willingness to pay: Responses to pricing questions helped set a realistic price point and potential revenue model.
  • Contact info: If people are willing to share their contact info to know more it’s a good signal and you should follow up with more questions and a deeper one on one interview.

Using surveys to test ideas is a straightforward and effective method to gauge interest and validate assumptions before diving into development.

By asking the right questions and targeting the right audience, you can gather valuable insights that significantly increase the chances of your idea’s success.

Creating and distributing surveys is a small step, but it can save you from investing in ideas that don’t resonate with your target market.

So next time you have an idea, give this method a try and let the data guide your decisions!

Also read The ten commandments of founding a startup