It’s a disturbing fact that over 50% of young entrepreneurs don’t ask for customer feedback regarding the product of their business startup until AFTER it’s launched. While startling, it sure does a lot in the way of explaining why so many business startups fail. When you become an entrepreneur, one of your biggest priorities, before even THINKING about launching, is getting feedback. Constant feedback.
Too many young entrepreneurs come up with ideas for the ‘perfect’ business startup but get so antsy and anxious to get things up and running they dash past the most important stage: business PLANNING. A business startup is an investment. Of money yes, but even more-so of time.
The funny thing is, the less TIME you spend, inevitably the more money you’ll end up spending…potentially just losing. The best way for a young entrepreneur to be successful and safeguard against making their investment of time AND money going to waste is for them to be as informed, prepared, and connected as possible. The launch of your business startup shouldn’t even be on the radar until the business plan is mapped out to a tee.
A crucial stage of writing that business plan for your business startup is doing customer research. A wise entrepreneur will do this kind of customer feedback in multiple stages, fine-tuning their product, service, or idea along the way. Very rarely is what a business startup has to offer their customers PERFECT right off the bat. Think about it, even 2-ply toilet paper had to evolve…and it’s better.
* Identify Your Target: The business plan a young entrepreneur must write includes identifying WHO their business startup is trying to reach. Narrow that niche down as much as you can; honing in on your customers is key. That way you can spend your time focused on people who will actually CARE about what you have to offer.
* Their Needs: It should be a rule for any business startup that a young entrepreneur think of their customers as PEOPLE first and sales second. Think of how you’d like to be treated by a particular brand or business. Too often a business startup might get ‘greedy’ and look at things from the reverse, money first and people second. The irony is that by putting your people first, the sales often end up being more fulfilling.
* Ask Them: Once a young entrepreneur knows the people they intend to reach with their business startup, that’s when they need to take it to the streets. Make a demo or mock-up along with a list of questions and get feedback in a variety of ways: in person, sending it out via email or social media, visiting websites/blogs/message boards, and get opinions.
* Then Ask Again: Take all the feedback you get for your business startup, refine your idea, then start the process over again. The more a young entrepreneur fine-tunes things BEFORE they even think about launching, the better their chances of making a success of their business startup. By the way, this feedback doesn’t stop after the launch either.
Would a young entrepreneur jump into the ocean and plan to swim from California to Hawaii without first doing a little research? Checking out a map, getting a compass reading, and probably finding a route not crossing paths with the mating migration of the Great White? Most likely not. So then, why would any young entrepreneur fully launch their business startup without getting customer feedback first?
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
1) Who would be the target customers of your business startup idea?
2) What are some of the questions you would ask your customers pertaining to your business startup idea?
3) How many rounds of refining and asking for feedback do you think is appropriate? How do you ‘sense’ your business startup is ready to launch?
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.