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Customer is key!
For the growth and the sustainability of the business, entrepreneurs must find ways to attract and retain their customers. Understanding and doing the customer analysis is crucial for all businesses. Entrepreneurs must pay attention to their needs and problems. No business will ever be successful without loyal customers.
As an entrepreneur, when we develop any products and services, we must consider these 5ws.
- Who is our customer?
By targeting a group or segment of customers, we can study, understand and analyze their behaviors. Customers target and segment must be clearly identified to point out the likelihood and the market must be quantifiable and easy to reach out to.
- What is our customer looking for?
We must analyze what our customers buy in order to understand what our customers are looking for from the product. Specific market segment and target group enables us to understand what exactly do they want to buy, for example, some customers buy the product because of quality and some may buy because of convenience.
- Why are they buying?
Knowing the customer’s intentions and reasons allows us to do marketing plan and promote our products and services to the correct group and know how to get to their Achilles’s heels.
- When are they buying?
We want to understand the chances and opportunities of when our customers need or buy the products. Different opportunities, products and presentations lead to different buying decisions e.g. seasonal products.
- Where are they buying?
It is necessary for us to know how to communicate with our customers. Know where they buy the products, their source of information and how they receive the news will help us know which channel is the best most suitable to reach out to our target customers.
You may ask why we need to know the needs of our customers. Here are the reasons:
- We have to come up with services they need.
- We need repeated users. It can be achieved only through customer satisfaction.
- Free advertisement! Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and it is credible to our target customers.
- Repeated users created sustainability.
Lastly, how can find out the needs? EXPLORE! As simple as that!
- Go talk to them, interview them.
- Survey – can be used to find needs, get their comments and recommendations; this way we can improve our services and do quality control.
- Create database for customer relationship management
To sum up, customer is the key for the success of any company’s products and services. Understanding their needs and developing products from their needs will allow for higher chances of them coming back and use our services again, in other words, we attract and retain customers.
Please help us with this survey. We are looking forward to building an online platform providing tools that would help entrepreneurs solve problems.
We would like your help in doing a survey about the entrepreneur needs. The survey would help us in coming up with proper functionality of the online incubation platform and help us to better understand your needs and offer solutions for your business. Here is the link to the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1CVb42aWE0d4dwcc6nchysFOgP4nuAMsADScLUameEUA/viewform?usp=send_form
An innovator provides the customers with products and services that are more valuable than the other alternatives. In other words, the combination must be “better” than other solutions (in the customer’s point of view), in terms of benefit versus cost.
Benefit: What you get. Higher performance, faster, more features.
Cost: What you give up to get it. Money paid. Fear of it not working as promised (yes, it’s emotional), easy to get (nearby or delivered), other forms of convenient.
When they say, “Too expensive” they mean not beneficial enough.
Think Big to Attract Resources and Capabilities
If people are willing to give you resources or dedicate their capabilities, you are getting confirmation that you are probably doing something worthwhile. The idea is somewhat similar to chicken and egg. More customers lead to more resources and capabilities and more resources and capabilities lead to more customers.
Entrepreneurs bring together different types of people and ideas to create innovations. Entrepreneurs work from the small power perspective. They don’t just start companies, but can be found in many organizations, so we call them Change Makers.
What do we need to do as a Change Maker?
- Create innovations (easy to say! harder to do?)
- Solve customers’ problems.
- Link different types of people, with different ideas.
- In short, get out of the office, from time-to-time!
How to we begin as a Change Maker?
- Start with the right customers, those who need you the most => innovators (Fear the Known).
- Solve big problems.
- Build your innovation on a combination of capabilities (Entrepreneurs and being the people in the middle).
- Be willing to do it, and willing to learn.
- Experiment: fail quickly and cheaply to learn and succeed (IDEO).
- Develop a mindset, don’t seek out a recipe.
- There isn’t a recipe for doing research;
- There isn’t a recipe for doing marketing.
- Seek to understand how customers work, just like you seek to understand how the physical world works.
- Develop customers, while we develop products.
- Solve customers problems: no one will pay you to solve a “non-problem”.
- Find big problems, then solve them.
Remember: Innovation is a Social Activity
- An opportunity can come when The Change Maker links between different networks (not just closed networks.
- Inside an existing company, or when starting a new company…
- Ideas need to get nurtured; developed and tested, before there will be “formal” approval.
- Change Makers must rely on charm, inspiration, and persistence.
Established companies have brands, distribution channels, reputations (for employees), established suppliers, existing customers…
- And sometimes an inability to see beyond these advantages, which forces them into a narrow view of opportunities.
New entrepreneurs have the opportunity to come up with new solutions from innovative combinations of people, value, and resources.
Ill-defined problem encompasses all of the challenges we need in a big opportunity:
- Some resources, with constraints.
- The challenge of finding a need, and another challenge of finding a group of people who truly have that need (test what we assume).
- The challenge of finding a solution.
- The challenge of working from a position of low power
- Unlimited creativity from you–at no cost.
To be a good entrepreneur, you need to feel confident that the last point is so much greater in magnitude than the other four. If you convince yourself of that you will be successful.
To succeed with Small Power:
- Fear the Known: do things and fix problems that others are not doing (or not willing to do).
- View every problem as an opportunity: lots of people, and organizations, have unmet needs; each one is potentially an opportunity.
- Look for big problems and turn them in to big opportunities.
- Leverage resources of others through networks that you construct: a big company may have lots of resources and capabilities but that can also be a constraint since big companies often try to do everything themselves; if you are doing something valuableand big, you will find resources.
- Think Big, but Act Small: search for the people who need you most, help them first and grow from there as you develop your product or service.
People (and other customers) seek benefits that make their life better, not features of products or services.
View the Opportunity: Create a better combination than can be found elsewhere.
The core mindset of the entrepreneurs is how can I create or add value to what they already have. They create innovation from little twists to generate prototype without concerning about the competitors. They find the customer’s pain point first and then offer the solution. Once they know roughly what they are doing, they do research about the industry, competitors and the market. Great entrepreneurs go out and interact with customers. Together they develop the product for further experimentation. They do the doable and create prototype for funding from the investors. A great entrepreneur always remember that he can control his future even though he can’t predict it.
Challenging the first and second wave of answers and assumptions helps creative teams move on to breakthrough ideas that appear in the third wave, says Dr. Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Here the lecture audience participates in an exercise that reveals a group’s willingness to go with the first right answer, which can be major barrier to unleashing full creative potential.