Depending on whether you offer a product or service, you might need to develop a prototype, which is a working representation of what your final product will look like. A soft launch is the first look for your potential customers so that you can gauge reactions and ensure that the price point is on target for your segment of consumers. This can help work out some unforeseen problems that might arise.
Separating the huge field of potential customers down into smaller groups is called targeting and targeting helps a business focus all their efforts on the segment of customers that they want to attract the most. If you are trying to sell electric stairlifts, you probably will not be advertising in a teen magazine. More likely, you might want to advertise in a magazine for older adults who would be more likely to need your stairlifts.
The Government of Ontario has created a guide for entrepreneurs looking to build a digital prototype for their technology-based companies.
Virginia Ramirez wrote a great article for Medium on what a prototype is, breaking down why they are so important to the design process and how to get started.
The Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner wrote a book called “Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!”. Lori dives into why it is important to do your research before and during the prototype stage, how it can save time, money, and lots of headaches, in this article by the Globe and Mail.