How do Startups Should Find its Customers First - IMC Group
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The Reasons Why Startup’s Should Find its Customers First

The Reasons Why Startup’s Should Find its Customers First

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Before you set out for a journey, don’t you like to decide where to go and which route to take? It’s the same when you are planning to start some business. Various entrepreneurs and researchers developed models, which detail or showcase the steps of how any newly-developed products, services or innovations are adopted by its consumers. By connecting the company’s advancement with these particular models, the business owners can compare their expansion or learn significantly using these methodologies. However, with time, we are progressing to the state-of-the-art stages, and thus, the system demands apt amends in the current techniques.

What is the real cause for the failure?

Do you know where the problem lies in today’s time? The startups are not failing because of any lack in their brand or product; but they actually cannot succeed because there are no customers. When any startup begins its journey or before they start selling their products, the business should prove that they have a market ready for it. You won’t be able to create customer demand or market where the customers are not interested. Therefore, the first step for any startup should be to test whether their product really fulfills a need.

However, many a times, entrepreneurs think of what customers might want, rather than they actually want. This is an apt example of how founders omit the problem-solution fit and go straight to the product-market fit, leading to developing products which no one wants.

Can you zero down on the real problem?

Entrepreneurs should be able to identify the real challenge and then design a product, which solves the real issue and has consumers who buy them willingly. But how can you do that? Most of the startups have a product-centric approach as they build a product and think the customers would come. But this strategy is not successful every time, especially in the current ecosystem. This approach could work when launching a new product in an existing market, where parameters and various dynamics are known. But it can be a catastrophe if you are launching a new product into a new market.

What the correct approach?

The first and foremost necessity is to confirm your assumptions while backing it with some qualitative date and customer interactions. After gathering enough data and understanding the customer, you should pass on this feedback to the product development team. This will help you in identifying the real requirement.

The next step after gaining an understanding about your customer is to gauge if the planned product will be liked by the early adopter.  The best way to do this is to develop a demo of the features that are required and then again go to the consumer and observe their reaction or response. This way, you can test the product’s value proposal before actually investing in core product building.

If you keep a close watch to the right customers, then you will surely execute a winning product strategy. Thus, your initial customer interactions should not be to know if they love your product, but to know if your assumptions about the challenges customers face are correct. In case the assumptions are not correct, even if your product is amazing; no one is going to buy it.

This process is termed as “build-measure-learn feedback loop” by Eric Ries in his work called “The Lean Startup”. He says that the businesses that are planning to enter in a new market or a re-segmented market need to concentrate on understanding the problem, developing a solution, then validating it qualitatively and finally verifying it quantitatively. This strategy would assist entrepreneurs find the apt synergy in product and customer development when they are beginning and in the middle of the problem-solution stage and also the product-market stage.