Start up and stay up: testing your business idea for indicators of success

Date: 28th July 2019

If you’re the entrepreneurial type, you probably come up with a handful of new business ideas every single day. But before you dive headfirst into your latest scheme, there are a few quick steps that you can take to help test your new business idea. We’ve compiled a list of ways you can find indicators of success within your new business and included a few of our favourite start-up resources.

light bulb moment

Do your market research

While it might sound boring, market research is the first indicator of success, and it’s actually pretty exciting to watch your idea take shape on paper.

Take the time to research widely and build an accurate picture of what your business idea looks like. Start with the product or service you are offering and consider what problem you are solving for your customer or client.

  • What are the current alternatives to your product offering?
  • How do people currently solve that problem for themselves?
  • Who is your target market, and how large is the target population?
  • What is the general trend for the industry you are entering (growing or declining)?
  • Who are your competitors?

Some great ideas on getting started with your market research can be found at business.govt.nz.

Your idea is worth nothing if it stays in your head!

Now that you have an understanding of the viability of your idea, it’s time to share it with the world. Find mentors, industry experts, peers and potential clients, and share your business plan. Be wary of your own intellectual property during this process, but also understand that your idea is worth nothing as long as it remains only an idea. You need to share it, gain feedback, accept input, and generate interest in order to begin the process of transforming the idea into a functioning business.

Before committing to trademarks and naming your new venture, check the intellectual property database, One Check.

Use fast prototyping to hack the development process

Now that you have determined exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve, it’s time for the exciting bit. Figure out what the most basic form of your eventual product or service is, and build it. This is called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Once you have your MVP, roll it out and ask for feedback from customers. Gather reviews and use the responses to quickly adapt your prototype and improve on it. Roll out the second iteration and repeat the process. This is called fast prototyping, and it’s the perfect way to “hack” your product development without significant initial outlay.

Make use of the R&D tax incentive

If you are throwing down significant outlay on Research and Development (R&D), check out the R&D tax incentive scheme. To help grow New Zealand’s investment in R&D, Inland Revenue have introduced a tax incentive for businesses investing in eligible R&D activity. Eligibility is achieved with an annual R&D spend of $50,000, and the incentive provides a tax credit of 15% of eligible spend on R&D up to $120 million.

Utilise local business resources

There are a number of resources worth looking into when you’re getting a new venture off the ground. Here are our favourites for Wanaka business owners:

  • Ignite Wanaka – Wanaka Chamber of Commerce – if you’re looking for inspiration, collaboration and a well-renowned local team to join, the Wanaka CoC offer advocacy and recognition.
  • Smart Business Guide for Taxation – Start off on the right foot and get ahead of your tax obligations with the Smart Business Guide produced by the IRD.
  • Hiring staff – Now that you have a business, you probably need a team! Bring together the dream team with this employment contract builder tool.
  • Finally, set yourself up for success with free resources to help with planning, finance and getting set up from business.govt.nz/starting-a-business.


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