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Market Validation: Finding Customers or People in Your Industry


Question: What is Market Validation?

Market validation is the process of determining whether or not an opportunity exists in the market for your product of service. This usually involves talking to potential customers to determine whether there is a need or want for your product or service. 

Your potential customers are people currently working in your industry. 

1. Finding People In Your Target Industry

To do market validation for your startup business you'll need to find people in your industry to talk to them or to have them take your survey. To find people in your industry the best place to look is through industry trade association. Every industry has a trade association. 

2. Use Google First

To find your industry's trade association just use a simple Google search: INDUSTRY AND "trade association"

3. Find  a List or Two of Trade Associations

You can also use lists like those found in Wikipedia.

and here at Planning Shop:

This list from Rutgers is a list of trade associations by industry:

4. Using Trade Association Lists for Outreach

Once you find your industry trade association, see if they publish any lists of members, or if they have a local chapter located near you. You can then contact that local chapter to ask to contact members near you. 

5. LinkedIn

You may also use your contacts from LinkedIn to see if you have any connections to people working in your target industry.