How to Validate your Business Idea on Reddit

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Don’t dive into development. As a general rule, you shouldn’t go into business blindly. You may think that your business idea is so one-of-a-kind that everybody would want to buy it, but are you 100% sure about its viability? 

Even if you’re 99% sure, you still shouldn’t “give birth” to a business idea when you haven’t validated it with real-world buyers.

From working with a firm that offers social media marketing services, to studying the world of Reddit on your own, this article will tackle everything you need to know about validating your business ideas.

What does it mean to validate a business idea?

Have you ever had a business that failed because it turned out that no one actually wanted to buy it? That’s because you didn’t try to validate your business idea.

How to Validate your Business Idea on Reddit

Idea validation is when you look for evidence to “back up” your business idea or to find out if it’s even viable. In other words, it’s when you ask people in the real world if they’d ever want to spend their hard-earned money on your products or services.

By validating your business idea, you’ll be able to gain insights into whether or not it will even sell.

Why should you validate a business idea?

It’s vital to validate your business idea in order to determine if there’s a demand for it. That way, you won’t have to waste your time (and money) on a product that people do not want.


In other words, it lowers the risk of your business idea becoming another unwanted thing in the market.

Take a look at Google Glass, for example. Google spent millions of dollars on its mission to create a cutting-edge pair of glasses. Although they spent a lot on PR, in the end, Google Glass still flopped.

It was an intriguing product, but its price tag was so high that it was impossible to buy it.

In addition, Google forgot to tell people why they would need it – they simply told people what it could do, and did not address a particular pain point.

By validating your business idea, you can find out:

  • If there’s a market for your product.
  • If the timing is right. (It may be a good product, but the timing is wrong.)
  • If it’s even a viable idea, to begin with.

How to validate a business idea

Product Concept. You don’t need to create the physical product yet, but you need to be able to map it out, plan it out, and create its concept. In this stage, there are a couple of things you need to consider:

  • The problem. What problem is your product trying to solve? Is there even a problem to begin with?
  • The customer. Who will buy your products? What are their interests? What are their hobbies? This is also called creating a buyer persona.
  • The price. Is your product reasonably priced? Will people be able to buy it, particularly your target market? More importantly, will you be able to turn a profit with the price you’ve set?
  • The innovation. Is your product a solution to a present problem, and if so, what is it? How is it innovatively solving that problem?

Hypothesis. Create an assumption about your customers in relation to your product. This will be the statement that will be proven (or disproven) when you validate your business idea. 

It will also be the criteria on whether or not your idea will be validated. For instance, if you’re developing an app for an Airbnb-like service, your assumption could be, “Vacationers would rather book a vacation rental via a mobile app than on the web.”

Value Proposition. What value does your product provide to your customers that your competitors’ products can’t? How are you solving their problems in a way that has never been done? This will be what you’ll introduce to your audience when you move on to the validation stage.

Validate. This is the time to test your assumptions. There are several ways to conduct validation such as one-on-one interviews, surveys, etc., but you can also opt for more modern tools such as the web. 

Reddit, for instance, is a useful tool for validation due to the number of daily active users on the website, but we’ll dive into that below.

Consider working with a company that provides social media marketing services if you plan to use social media sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram to ask for feedback about your business.

Feedback. Focus on the key points of feedback about your product. What do people think about your product? Do they think it’s worth their time, money, and attention? What works and what doesn’t work?

Decide. After you’ve spent time with their feedback, you need to make a decision. Should you develop the product, pivot (change a couple of things), or give up on it entirely? Your chosen course of action should depend on what your customers have said over the validation process.

Tips on idea validation

#1 Do not seek validation from friends and family

Even if your friends and family want the best for your business, they shouldn’t be involved with validation. They may be biased and tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

#1 Do not seek validation from friends and family

Besides, they’re probably not your ideal buyer. You can share your business idea with your friends and family, but only after you’ve validated it with your ideal buyers.

#2 Leverage social media for validation

Vet your ideas on social media sites such as Reddit. These sites are treasure troves of advice on your ideas. By engaging on these websites, you’ll be able to understand what your audience wants. 

If your product is met positively, they’ll even tell you how you can improve it. They’ll be throwing their suggestions and brainstorming alongside you!

Do note that not all platforms are ideal for idea validation, so enlist social media marketing services from a well-known digital marketing agency.

#3 Do not sell your product

Do not make it about you. Your goal isn’t to force people to buy your product but to get their insights on it. Don’t say things such as, “This is going to be a game-changer,”, but instead, simply throw your ideas into the world.

Avoid hyping up your product and leave your audience to vet your ideas themselves. It would be best to say something along the lines of, “I’m working on this, what do you think about it?”.

How to validate your business idea on Reddit

Idea validation doesn’t have to involve one-on-one interviews or a group of respondents– you can gain their insights without spending a single cent!

How to validate your business idea on Reddit2

Meet Reddit, a social platform-slash-forum where entrepreneurs can throw their ideas into the wind and wait for a worldwide audience to vet them. On Reddit, people can vote (upvote or downvote) on your product, and even provide you with plenty of tips.

Compared to other social media sites, Reddit is more specific. You can choose a subforum (or as they call it, a subreddit) that fits your business to a T. That way, you’ll already have a narrowed-down audience who would actually be interested in your business idea. 

You no longer need to group your “validators”, saving you a ton of time.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how you can validate your business on Reddit:

#1 Create an account

You need to create an account in order to post on the subreddit of your choice. Fortunately, signing up is straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a minute if you link it to your Google account.

Do note, however, that you won’t be able to change your username, so be sure it’s something you’ll be able to use in the long term. 

Don’t be too obvious, either – avoid usernames with the words “entrepreneur”, “startup”, “business”, and more. If people find out that you’re fishing for free suggestions, they’ll be less likely to share their insights!

#2  Find a Subreddit that’s related to your business idea

Reddit has around 2.8 million subreddits, but only a few of them are related to your idea. But how do you look for the best subreddit for your business? The key is to look for subreddits that indirectly deal with your business idea.

That’s because it would be impossible to find a subreddit that perfectly fits your business needs. For instance, there’s probably no subreddit for r/KitchenKnifeIssues, but there are subreddits for r/Cooking and r/chefknives.

Below, we’ve outlined a few useful tips to find the best subreddit for your business:

  • Keywords. List down a few keywords, and then type them into Reddit’s search bar. This will reveal a list of all the subreddits that have that word. To illustrate, if you want to set up a plant-based food shop, use keywords like “natural” and “organic”.
  • Read the subreddit. Make sure the subreddit is really what you think it is. You may think the keyword “natural” applies only to supplements, but it may also apply to body care.
  • Create a spreadsheet. To keep better track of the subreddits, make a spreadsheet of them. Sort the subreddits by their relevancy or by the number of members.

#3 Consider the member count

The member count is the number of users that are subscribed to a subreddit. Although a larger subreddit has more members, that doesn’t automatically mean that it has greater engagement.

Sometimes, smaller subreddits can be better for engagement as not too many posts appear at the same time. In short, its members won’t be overwhelmed by the volume of posts.

It’s worth mentioning that subreddits with more members are favored by Reddit’s algorithm, so it’s better to invest your time in those. By engaging in a popular subreddit, you increase the chances of your post being seen by more Redditors.

#4 Consider the engagement level

The engagement level refers to how invested users are on a given page. It is determined by the number of upvotes, downvotes, and comments on a particular post. 

If the posts on a subreddit have a lot of upvotes, this implies that people on the page are generally engaging. Since your goal is to get validation, great engagement levels are very valuable.

#5 Remember that subreddits can be international

Bear in mind that even though Reddit members are from all over the world, subreddits tend to be US-centric. It is estimated that more than 26.4 million Redditors are from the U.S. 

If you want to narrow down your audience by geographic location, post on a local subreddit. 

As a rule of thumb, local subreddits have the country’s abbreviation at the end, such as “ph” for the Philippines and “uk” for the United Kingdom. However, if you intend to post on an international subreddit, r/Entrepreneur and r/SmallBusiness are your best bets.

#6 Read Reddit threads

Threads are posts within a page that have received multiple replies. For instance, the subreddit r/Startups has a thread called “Feedback Fridays” where people can post their company name, product idea, and more.

The thread is endless, and anyone can add to the discussion at any time. 

By studying subreddit threads, you can explore past ideas that were previously validated (or disapproved) by its members. This can help you improve your product or put an end to it entirely.

#7 Post on subreddits with moderators

This is optional, but it would be wise to post on a subreddit that’s monitored by moderators. The role of moderators is to ensure that the subreddit’s members stay on topic

For instance, if a member were to post about cats in a subreddit about boats, the moderator’s role is to delete the post. 

Or, if a post’s topic is too specific, the moderator can “redirect” the post to the appropriate subreddit. This ensures that people respect your post, and that your it doesn’t get buried underneath bot-generated posts.

Some additional tips 

One of the best things about Reddit is that it’s straightforward. Any business owner can use it as a tool to validate their ideas.

Some additional tips

Unfortunately, not all business owners are able to make the most out of this free forum. Here’s how you can make sure people interact with your Reddit post:

  • Add an explainer video to your post. A visual overview of your business idea can help Redditors better understand what it’s about.
  • Design a landing page. You don’t need to design an entire website, but you do need to create a landing page for important information, such as the product’s price, features, etc.
  • Reply to comments. Thank the Redditors who’ve taken the time to provide feedback on your product.

The bottom line

Reddit isn’t simply a site for memes. It’s also a treasure trove of real-world feedback that you can use to improve your products, services, and more. 

The best part? It’s absolutely free, making it the perfect platform for start-ups and small businesses that want to hit the ground running without spending a single cent!

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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