The guide is based on we have learned, experimented and experienced while building over 100s of products in the past 2 decades. Use the templates and guidelines to discover the worthiness of your ideas, discover customer needs and wants and how you can offer a significant value proposition to your customer when you will launch your business.
Our experience has it confirmed that every successful business has a strategic focus on innovation and marketing. We will be looking at these two aspects throughout the series and provide the strategies, templates, and tactics you can use to innovate and market your business adequately.
If you have not read our earlier articles you can do so here:
If you are not sure about whether becoming an entrepreneur is the right thing for you or not, you can go through this article:
Every business starts with an idea. You need to have an idea that you can sow over a period of time to get the result you desire to achieve leveraging your geniuses. This article will help you know how to get a good idea to build the business.
I am sure you have got an idea. Before you start thinking about launching it, you need to know whether it has the signals to become a successful one or not. Every successful business solves the unique problem of their target customer in a better way.
In this article, our aim is to provide you a series of tools you can use to filter out the noises, strengthen the signals and decide whether it is worthwhile to build your business on the idea or not.
1/ Take the printout of the form below and fill it in if you haven’t done it already. Follow the instructions and define your idea/startup in a way that makes people understand your business and find it interesting.
2/ Customer Segmentation and Pain point analysis
For your business to become massively successful, you will need to have a product which is interesting enough to sell. A successful product solves the customer problem better than how the customer currently gets their problem solved.
Segmentation allows you to develop a deeper understanding of your customers and discover the way to provide them the product to attract them to buy and use your product. Instead of a generic approach, you need to get into the specifics and identify a niche group for which your product will be more useful. Identify the following key information about your customer:
Pain Point – Fill in the pain point that the customer segment has based on your own gut feeling or the research finding going through the experiences.
3/ Identify and name customers to validate the pain points
You described the customer pain point earlier. It is better to validate these pain points with chosen customer segments to understand whether they really have pain points as you described or is it something else.
The best way to understand others feeling is to standing in their shoes or seeing the things through the eyes of another. Your goal for this exercise should be to understand and empathize with your customer pain points better:
– Name the customers based on the segment you have provided.
– To describe their pain points try to hypothesize what they would say, think, feel and do.
– Based on your observation, give the reason why you think the named customer is an ideal profile for validating your idea.
– How would you reach out to these customers? If you have their contact details, please do mention here.
4/ Identify Competitors who provide the solution to the customer problem
The only way for you to have an edge over the current competition is to offer irresistible value to your customer than the existing competitors. It is not enough to just offer exactly what they do but to create an edge over them.
– Search online directories, e-commerce websites, googles and any other way through which you can identify and name 3 competitors. More will be better.
– Identify the features, benefits, pricing and other aspects of your competition.
– Identify the areas of improvements of lack of features which make it difficult for the customer to solve their problem easily.
5/ Define the solution hypothesis
Now, you have in your had the blueprint of your idea and you know well about the customer segments, you have identified the pain points, and you know the current competitions and how they are solving customer problems.
Using the template below, start identifying the solutions that will provide the maximum value, ease of use and connect the customer with your product at the highest level of satisfaction. Your aim should not be to get trapped in what you describe here but to get an idea of what features and benefits will attract and convert your customers. Your solution hypothesis should firm up as a starting point to discuss the problem when you start interacting with your customer during the idea validation phase described in the next step.
6/ Conduct Customer Interview
“There are no facts inside your building.” So, you need to get out and talk to customers. Steve Blank
Instead of building something that no one wants, it is better for you to spot your customer’s pain point and their view on solutions that would appropriately address their pain points. Your aim during the customer interview should not be to present the solution that you have described above but to cleverly get to know the customer pain points, match them with your hypothesis, discover any new problem and find out how customer address their pain point.
7/ Define Your Idea
At this point in time, you should look into your idea, the customer pain points, competitions, and your learning during the customer interview.
Do you think you still have a highly valuable idea for which you would like to invest your time, reputation, money to realize your dream? Do you need to go further or you need to find another business idea?
Look at the idea definition you did earlier and if you need to revisit it and refine it further, use the sheet again to rewrite your idea definition.
Over to you. If you have worked on your ideas using the process and template provided in this, did you find it valuable to you?
Your feedback will help us build better content for others.
See you soon with the next series of the article…